I See Myself

I always saw the humanity
behind his thick-lidded eyes, the small child,
begging for a banquet of golden crumbs
to appease the motherache churning
in his heart and stomach.
A thousand lions
pitted against a studded
chainsmoking beergutted gladiator,
I saw that too,
he, the lions, the gladiator,
the arena,
the smoke and booze,
all of it,
held hard in a concentrated siege,
a flash-flood and toxic smolder, and at his feet,
I cowered, and proceeded to bury myself.
He was my father,
still is.
The bond between us thick
as viscous chains,
the sort that perpetrate magma,
and rattle and clank
when carried by the blue shivery breath
of ghosts
down long hallways
branching out
into labyrinths
where every last bruised nothing
meets to forge bonds.
We are there, partly,
he and I, father and son,
but also, I am here,
a rampant indwelling,
a man who learned to take a saw
to chains,
heavy metal into blues,
a nightingale, moonthroated, with laryngitis,
yes, it is never too soon
or late to sing,
and I, in my mortal remains,
exist as living proof,
I am here, mostly,
a boy, a man,
the ghosts
no longer my enemies,
nor the bared teeth of an infant haunt,
but rather my teachers, my guides,
and when I look into his eyes,
I see staggered humanity, a small child,
a human doing the best he can,
I see myself, expanding
beyond the myth of lions
and gladiators,
I see myself,
rapt and sealed,
signing my name
to soul,
and blessed to know
Beauty’s lasting friendship.


About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello now lives in Taos, New Mexico. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. His blog--Notes of an Urban Stray--can be read at johnbiscello.blogspot.com. Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.
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3 Responses to I See Myself

  1. Oh, so you did know

    I love the way you poet


  2. jocelyn harper says:

    So very poignant –

    Liked by 1 person

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