My Only Halloween Poem


Halloween Mask

They never fit the way you hope

they will, the latex loose,

the green zombie nose

too low, the eye slots

too thin to guide you

down the road.

There’s no way to mask

this thing inside you.

Some costumes we swallow

with wine, with walks

along unfamiliar cobbles,

searching for doors to open

windows to break.

Others whip their shadows

like storm clouds

ripping the leaves off trees.

You can’t escape

the rain by running.

It’s like stealing other people’s tongues

but wanting to get their taste

out of your mouth.


 From The Trouble with Rivers (order here).

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