‘Beggars bedroom’ & ‘Islands’ by Chris Hopkins

sc june 18

Beggars bedroom

The sheets don’t show the dirt at night.
The night soaks up the blood.

I would keep the windows open in the day
but the air never really changed

the smell of the unwashed after the rain.

In the owl light
the long grass out front
hides my feet like brook water
and the wetness is as pure.

I feed the dog ham and sleep all my weekend.
I dream of the bus seat emptiness.
And I wake as the helpless boy
with the ghost town stomach

wondering at clocks faces at 5am.

All the ‘Good Morning’ sighs of a punch card life.
I tidy myself up
and smile as wide as the wolf.


My promise to the ghosts has brought me home
to my fields of a boy. My frontier
my islands of play
are gone.
The impossible blue
turned from the golden to the common stars I could name
and I traveled on its turning
and lived in its distance.
When the rain fell from a crack in the blackbird shell
it fell as white fire
spitting off the whale crest of bedrock on the hill
soaking the black grasses of summer
and the only thing wishing life on the crab apple trees.
If you grew up near the church
you would play in the long grasses of it’s graveside.
If you grew up on the mountain
you would play on its edge
spinning with the candle-flies of town
and be sober with your footing
amongst whites of its fog.

The luster of my ghosts
has found me a bowl of wood ash where to set
these flowers that never bloom
and the life lines can’t be seen on unwashed hands
and my bound palm would blister and bruise
from the welcome cup of my fathers.
See how the love lines are around the eyes and mouth
like the ambush sun through the bitten trees
they are born on the stomaches and worn on the hips of our mothers.
That much hasn’t changed in fortune telling ‘round here.
Then cut me through the middle
see my acid of life like stacking dolls of mother and father
and mother and father.
I have this land within me retreated
between marrow and the bone
and although I have chewed on my cord so often
to somehow rid me of legends or on a day
where I forget the name for heart
I see the sky is brightest
in the western arch of home.

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