Black Bull

black-bull-03He holds the phone like it’s a firework
set to go off against his cheek
he knows this conversation should have
ended five minutes ago with a resounding,
“Enough. That’s it. Goodbye.”

He looks like a Morrissey song
all grown up and on antidepressants
and with a well-salaried position
doing something involving finance.
Shoes, socks, jeans, shirt, belt, jacket
are a rainbow of black
blacker
blackest.
His hair is a black-toothed comb
knifing the air.
His fingers rattle the train car window
as he nods along with the conversation
that’s shaking him worse than
California confidence.

And despite all the brittleness
he carries in his face
he’s still a personal pipe-bomb
in a tin can soaring over
treetops and townhouses
and when he arrives at his destination
he’s going to make someone else’s day
hell.┬áHe’s bitten his tongue enough times
he could perform a blood transfusion
with a kiss, could spit crimson
at your excuses, loose some savagery
in a living room after two bourbons
and an old argument.

But whatever you’ve said to him
over the air in two minutes time
have taken this black bull down
to a lacerated, loping beast
who just wants the show to be over.
I don’t know what kind of darts you throw
I don’t know which words of mass destruction
you put in his ears, but if anything
it pinpoints the shaky place we go
when we’re robbed of power, left sitting
on a train to New Westminster
with a catapult heart and nothing left
to throw.