half-and-half

I have often feared of great disasters, and kept my keys
Where I can always reach them, if ever I needed to
Lock the door from within.
My brother once said odd beginnings had odd ends
But the sum of my life is always a study in
Half of what it could have been.
I have reached for metaphor after metaphor
But found that nothing ever truly
Equals something else.
I have reached for that note too high on the fifth string
And made do with one that fits just
As well in everything.
My father never came home before the night was dead,
And smoked by the window. I always thought
He was talking to me
But now I see I can’t remember his voice and
Today’s not the anniversary
Of dead nights.
My brother was a madman who never loved himself
But always found enough in his heart
To love me.
So many ages have sagged in my spotty arms
And the weight of helpless despondency
Has turned my eyes
Into the dark marbles of my musty youth,
Into pictures without time
Into hatred.
I feel the shadows of this lampshade taking over
And the scurrilous pounding of ancient nerves
And I can’t find my keys.
Oh well, there’s so much to tell but so little
To tell it with. I have often feared of great disasters but
The little ones got the best of me.

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