After Thirty Years

I hear you laughing
beyond the veil,
but do not rush
to meet you there.

So many pennies
in my old black kettle,
no time to scrub
them clean.

This street is still
the same, my friend,
its battered bricks
and buildings.

The faces I see
are worn
like noble coins.

Into my kettle they go,
copper clatter,
portraits waiting
to be known.

At the bottom,
the foolish things
I�ve done, in madness
gone from rags
to riches.

See me now,
my lips in praise
of ancient curses,
shadow in
a burial ground.

December 4, 2005

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