Karōshi

Karōshi, they call it
such a lovely name
for working ourselves
to death

you can feel it–
a diminishment
as the days fall over
piled upon those prior
flattened, like a folded hand
all the mass
removed

tho, perhaps–
a redemption
another soul
taken notice
this one moment
saved
from the gray
savored
like a poem

young trouble
talking on the phone
yellow-straw hair
tied haphazardly
intentionally random
head tilting
and the thinnest wisp
of a smile
softens a stone resolve

keep on walking, brother
it just ain’t worth
the pain
for something
strange

she was wearing
those big sunglasses
like all the girls
are wearing these days
and like the movie stars
used to wear
last year
a slim white cigarette held
between her middle
and ring finger
sizzles and crackles
when drawn
a slow exhale
lips pursed
and she’s
gone

keep on walking, brother
the time just ain’t right
and it ain’t ever gonna be
right
she’s for another
but you know

she’ll

make you feel

alive

like a woman
who screams at you
swearing
red, and sweating

and then claws at your back
until you’re hearing bells
and the taunts of angels
who cackle, spread their wings
and depart, leaving you there
panting, and bleeding
but most certainly
not dead

tho, how
can we ever be
certain?

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