The Cult of the Head
I. After we murdered him for his song and threw him into the river I tracked the voice.
His was a voice of birdsong and glacier melt, of tree sap rising and roots curling deeply.
I kept his head, crept to it when the ecstasy of God invocation paralyzed my comrades.
He sings to me alone.
II. The skull passed down the grid of desks to me: homo sapiens; the most contemporary head in our fossil record. I alone asked its origin story, and looked into the bones of a murdered twelve year old girl made bright by overhead fluorescence. The class turned. I held up her head. The professor lectured us on the plates of her skull, too young to be smoothly fused. The body found in a Central American field, a victim of the drug war. Some heads stay with the murderers.
If her jawbone worked, if she could speak without tongue or teeth in the myriad voices of the lost, it would be your voice I’d hear, one last time; its timbre of squat floorboard-creak chased with a smile. You’d tell me to stay and I’d still leave you at dawn. The birds that sang that morning, they hurt my head. I’d known you for years but I was just starting to look at you. I’d heard you’d gone intravenous. Then they found your body, stabbed in an alley on Georgia Ave. After all, you were just a minor chord in that song; the song all the Punks sing.
Blessed with sticky feet
from climbing pine trees
& the power of a David Cassidy album
in the front window to shake
the neighborhood boys from our step
boys that front with Kiss action figures
but drop like Superman exposed to kryptonite
when confronted with Kissing Barbie
companions on the tree limbs
back on neighborhood turf
we repel like the ends of magnets
they want to Rock & Roll All Night
while I dance to ABBA
summer days & every home an open door
I walk barefoot on hot asphalt to swimming pools
sip on honeysuckle blooms in the woods
play kick the can at twilight torch morning glories
while hamburgers grill on the fourth of July
My parents drink their beers
they let me hold punks & light the fountains.
On the other side of the world a pomegranate ripens
Soon to be split in half & wrung of all its seeds