In the Black Iron Balconies

me and glen
sat atop my black iron balcony,
did he stutter when he said 'em
those truths out there.

you've been there too,
the city beneath you and the cold in your bones
you've looked into the mountains, from the valley,
thankful to the fire you've built and how it decided to stay.

you know the truths you never say
the ones on the shoulders and eye lashes of your companions
the holy sinks of your braveries, the termination of your river
and your dance becomes more fevered when that bit
that curled revelation
readies itself on your tongue

all the sky and her darlings come to your black iron balcony
to witness the rush of your honest depths

but instead you smile and twirl away

in the lights and the music you laugh and give thanks with your bones
and your dancing shoes.

and all of that's beautiful, quaint

but, glen said, it never occurred to him as possible
that we'd dance forever, and
that those little precious secrets
the precious abstentions
would remain that way forever
that even under the pines, in the bars, all wrapped up in the great music in the great halls,
that we'd never tell each other
and he shakes his head
and sips his whiskey
and looks at the city, and abuses, shamefully, the mercy of her always knowing

my brother in the sound
on the crust of the northwest coast
he's seen em, the truths unspoken.
he's seen 'em on bar tops, in a bear's hands and
a tired man's hunch that loosens
in the hug of hops and barley.
in his head, he can't find his father,
that man is a language from which he's divided,
several shapes there, of concession and conciliation
that his tongue just won't entertain
for the taste of nervous vomit and betrayed heaves
he opts for strangers.

"that's what i mean,"
glen says
that's the magnitude of our silence
the uncertainty of our every future and the pain of our every present,
those little trophies of solitude are made more
precious in the dancing away and the silence,
until forever comes
and it dies for real,
trades the silence of modest humans for the sad silence
of rocks and trees across this city street

"and what do we do,"
he continues
"when can i know you're ready
to hear the ones I'm hanging on to?"

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