|In '79 in a slum Sid Vicious,|
ex-star and addict, famous
for on-stage self-mutilation, having
mortally wounded his lover, whole
of the world to him, lived
and died knowing nothing
succeeds like excess. Should we, too,
and for one moment aspire to that life,
that dream he lived all the way up
right there in the shadow of death's
getaway car? Or is it
better the other way--to be safe
and survive? The gaze is trained
to look away from danger
while another current dazzles the eyes,
a rush of water
moving past shape,
the way pattern turns indistinct, and a world
blurs beyond recognition.
Is it better to sidestep the edge,
love, half-love, the "easeful death"?
But what's restraint compared to motion, the leap
taken because of, in spite of
where the gesture might lead?
Sometimes I'm sorry I stayed behind
on this bank, frozen in place
eyes closed not to see the hero scan
the blighted landscape for clues.
Stripped of illusion,
the last ribbon of light.
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