Alter Ego

So this
Is what it’s come to.
Kneeling in the gravel,
Talking to Queen Anne’s Lace
About where it’s best
To drop seeds —
As if I would know.

Dangerous and tempting
To flirt ’round the edge.
And the edge is where
You’ll catch an eye.
But if you drop them here,
I say,
You’ll just get
Mown down
Next season.

And hometown heroes
Are reduced to this.
Glad —
And taking a little more
Pleasure than they should —
At being remembered
For what they were.

It’s the bit
The comic books
Never get to —
The lengthening story,
Out where the exclamations
Are all spent,
Where the fighting and fucking’s
Just fading ink
On newsprint pages.

Comes a moment when you
Gotta choose —
Blindly —
Whether to drop your mask
At last
And live your
Alter ego.

Whether to risk
Your seeds
At the edge —
Where the walkers
And watchers
Bathe you in praise
Before the blade comes
To cut you down —
Or to fall among
The millions
And blur
Into a distant prairie.

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About Emily

I may or may not have: A. Dirt B. Ink C. Paint D. Wool under my fingernails.

2 responses to “Alter Ego”

  1. brian miller says :

    dang…i absolutely love that stanza on the comics and being outside the story…that is tight…and a great image to go with….intriguing too on the duality in that last stanza…

  2. Emily says :

    You know, Brian…I kinda had a feeling that you might dig that bit. I think we might have similar sell-by dates.

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