Last night I could really run again.
It seems I could run faster and faster
without ever tiring, just imagine —
how exhilarating to run like the wind!
I ran past the corner saxophone player.
The crowd was engrossed, they applauded
the solo performance, then put money in his hat.
They didn’t notice, but as I passed I took the music
with me, I took the cymbal, but left the drums.
I passed a big barking dog with a wagging tail,
he tried to keep up but was left in the dust.
I didn’t look back, I had places to go.
I ran past dark clouds gathering over the town,
maybe I would outrun the rain. Looked like a storm
was just dead ahead, but I ran past the meaning
of that phrase, I ran past the explanations.
I ran past black birds in the middle of the highway.
They were pecking at some nondescript roadkill.
Nothing wrong with that of course — everything
in this wild hungry place has to eat, it’s a luxury
for those who can pick and choose, who can go
down to the supermarket and handle the fruit,
but I was running so fast that I couldn’t stop.
Soon I was passing the leaning oak tree
where the old bearded man sits on a branch.
He called out to me but I just kept going, I knew
what he was about to say, I have heard it before,
when push comes to shove I don’t care anymore.
I ran right off the page at last, past the beautiful words
and what they can’t say, I once tried to say it anyway,
even as I ran through the milk and honey, ran through
the fabric of celestial light, ran through the soft cage
of accountants busy tabulating my bill, ran through
the final appeal, ran through the condemned man’s
last meal without taking a bite, it didn’t seem right.
I ran through the scribbled list of things I’d forgotten,
ran through the faces of people I had briefly known,
ran through their thoughts, hopes, their dreams
though I’m no longer much good at remembering names.
I ran through messages that were never answered
written on pages I never read, ran through the books
of the living dead, ran through the letters contained
in one word, the word I was shouting out loud as I ran.
I forget it now, like so many things, I don’t know
what it even means, I just keep running, faster and faster
without ever tiring — how exhilarating to run like the wind!