It's Not Me Shouting At No One

Before dawn, on the street again,
beneath sky that washes me
with ice, smoke, metal.
I don't want to think
the bullet pierced my shoulder,
the junkie's rotten teeth
laughed, his yellow hair froze.
I'm careful: I smoke
Turkish tobacco cigarette butts,
I drink a lot to piss a lot,
I fry the pig in its own fat,
eat the knuckles, brain, and stomach;
I don't eat the eyes!
Always four smokestacks
burning bones, somewhere
tears that won't stop,
everywhere blood becomes
flesh that wants to say something.
It's not me shouting at no one
in Cadillac Square: it's God
roaring inside me, afraid
to be alone.

Lawrence Joseph, "It’s Not Me Shouting at No One" from Codes, Precepts, Biases, and Taboos: Poems 1973-1993. Copyright © 2005 by Lawrence Joseph. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC, www.fsgbooks.com. All rights reserved.

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Source: Codes, Precepts, Biases, and Taboos: Poems 1973-1993 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005)
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