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Walking with my mother

callous, numb and hollowed out
i was
carved out of hatred and filled with
chaos, confusion and yet
i continued, casually and as carefree as ever
trodding the tripwire
strung high between the days beyond
and days best forgotten
strutting, fretting, and fumbling through
a life of forced confessions,
broadcasted in real-time like news pouring on the gallows
with the noose round my neck, suspended
from a tear in some lonely stranger’s eye

if this is but one of the two ends
of each pellet purchased in a Faustian bargain
the other must be a set of lips attached to apocalypse
wherein all that’s left to gawk at, count or measure
is a silver lining on a cloud that’s
conspicuous by its absence
but from where i stand it seems,
the other end didn’t get the memo
so i stepped up, nay, volunteered
to be the only thing keeping the hangman’s regret
from collapsing under the weight of war
and as the doors of empire swung open beneath
my revolutionary, barefooted countenance

i remembered walking with my mother
hands clasped in some sort of
blessed assurance.