Poem: “The Passenger” (2010/2020)

Hatred is a dead body
handcuffed to my wrist.
I drag it behind me,
uphill and down.

The face which smears
over rocks and concrete
is the same as the one
I see in the mirror.

The fingers which cut
grooves into the soil
bear my fingerprints;
leave their traces.

The wake I trail behind me
slowly ceases to be red.
The passenger sheds his skin.
I grow still more hollow.

Blank features pass away
as my face grows ever harder.
My back curves from the weight;
the spine is bleached by sun.

By the time the bones remaining
detach and fall away,

there will be nothing left;

nothing left to save;

but an empty shell
dragging empty handcuffs

First published as lyrics for Cindervoice’s Before the Turn LP (2010). / Republished as lyrics for Matthew S. Rosin’s Singing Is Contagious EP (2020).