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Poetry

Ben Jorisch

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Ben Jorisch is a speck on the face of the void.

Empties

I have forgotten
all of the long nights
though I live in the long night
I have forgotten
the hungry eyes
starving
for some meal that will never come

I have forgotten the cold women
with hearts like steel

I have forgotten the needle
and the cold turkey kick
and obsession
that was called love.

I have forgotten the mouth of the pistol
cocked and aimed upwards
towards the chin
I have forgotten the trigger
never pulled
I am a trigger never pulled
I am waiting to fire.

I have forgotten the look of my face
and the lines drawn on it
they were rivers
never known.
I have forgotten jail cells
and cigarette butts picked up off the street
I have forgotten the panhandling
I have forgotten the hustle
and I never knew anything else.

All I have forgotten
is all I have known
but it is better to know nothing
than to be filled with tragedy
though it is sometimes called wisdom
it is nothing more than an empty room.

Now I have become the empty room
after a lifetime of waiting to be filled
by women and chemicals, by madness and inspiration
but I need less than I ever have, and that is a victory.
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