Sidewalk Sermon

My head rests uncomfortably above my shoulders, it is empty and heavy, weighed down by the hollow space above it. My neck, a rusty pipe excessively wrapped with electrical tape. My left-hand-fingers linger on small notepad. My right-hand-fingers mingle with a lit cigarette. I sit upright, the first commandment. My left-foot lolls in the air, it is heavy with a leather boot. My right-foot has its heel rested on a bar at the bottom of the stool, the toe is free to move up and down to any sound. I hear music, the sixth commandment. My eardrums quake in coordinated chaos, like any other machine. My brain thunders in thought, I believe it is jazz, I believe I like it. My spine shivers with excited fear, it is right to do so. I look up, the second commandment. My eyes spot a trio of musicians, a pianist, bassist and drummer. My skin thrills from the shivers in my spine, it is slammed into place by the sound of the piano, held in place by that of the bass, and bombarded by the drums’. My conscious wishes to leave me to the wildness of my instinct. I resist, the fourth commandment. My muscles clutch in defense of an unlikely enemy. My vision sharpens, in search of the slightest sign of perfection, so I may attack it posthaste. My attention dissolves, back into its shadowy and draughty cave. I fail, the tenth commandment. My nerves give in and blanket themselves, more tired than defeated. My bearings are re-established, the chaos, confronted and passed, accustomed instead of overcome. My jacket’s wool keeps me warm with false safety. I accept, the fifth commandment. My mouth gives momentary quarter to a cigarette. My smoky intake scrapes along my rusty pipe of a neck. My ribs give way to a greater cause and motion. My lungs expand, they are tired and closer to death, closer still, Godspeed. I breath, the third commandment. My expedience leaves me in order to preserve its integrity and sink my reputation. My senses claim outside territory, a familiar feeling when relaxed and exhausted. My friend gestures and motions to the kid trying to take a shot whiskey, half a shot and his face turns into a cartoon. I laugh, the seventh commandment. My arms go lax. My elbows bang on the counter in defiance. My legs stretch-out and I stand, I scan the area for potential. My patience dies. My location is compromised. My time runs thin and I skin off its cheap remains. I walk away, the ninth commandment. My path is perforated with uncertainty, but my steps smash on the concrete with the sound of strength no one will ever see. My gut churns. My thoughts leave me a note signed “with love.” My lust wanders about to find another. My horizon screams obscenities. My life gives a bow as I applaud for an encore. I conclude, the eighth commandment. Blessed is he who hath only known thine own sins.


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