It wasn’t supposed to end like this—
It was supposed to be a civil nod of the head
A conciliatory, halfhearted hug
And promises that we won’t forget—
because we won’t—
and that, in the end, it would all be OK.
Well-wishes for the next leg of the journey
with wistful smiles
and mutual respect—
Acting like the good people we both are.
It wasn’t supposed to end like this,
When you woke up fifteen minutes early and sat down to a bowl of oatmeal and the morning paper,
noticed a chip in your favorite mug, and realized you liked it better that way
When traffic was slightly less horrible yesterday afternoon
and you saw a robin perched on the power line
When you got into bed with freshly-washed sheets,
and slept noiselessly, never getting too hot or too cold.When you laughed at the increasingly ridiculous tactics of telemarketers, and you told them how broke you were:
“Hello, is Robert there?”
“No, I think you have the wrong number”
“Oh, well maybe you can help me out; I’m calling from the fill-in-the-blank research foundation and we’re starting our annual drive…”
“I have zero monies”
When you finished all your reports and left work ten minutes early
When you listened to the silence of your still, unoccupied living room
and you found a popcorn kernel between the cushions.
When you decided that matching socks might be a good idea, and you matched them all.
When you smelled the potent, artificial meadow breeze of the fabric softener before you started that load.
When you sang along to classic disco hits on the way to your doctor’s appointment.
When you met your friend for coffee and struggled to find anything to talk about, so you both analyzed the complex body of your respective lattes.
When you took a walk around the block and waved hello to exactly three strangers.
When you watched a forty-minute eighth inning, accompanied by an cold coke.
When the ice on your windshield glinted in the morning light, and you remembered your gloves to scrape it all off.
When you finally called your sister and you took out the trash
When your parrot asked you earnestly, “Where Bu?”
And you watched her take a nap, before snoozing yourself.
Poetry is for the mentally ill
and those with an ailing heart—
It has long been used as a treatment,
a tincture of distilled experience and emotion
But treatment comes with risks:
just as much as it can be succor,
it can be an exascerbator
and the condition may worsen.
But fine poetry is a risk worth taking.
One hour is too much–
any silver distraction–
Half an hour is too long–
every dusty go-to fixation–
every threadbare coping skill–
the vertigo of imagined crisis
Fifteen minutes is insufferable–
All of the gravelly compulsions–
All of the scraped-up scraps of reason–
Five minutes is an eternity–
Some brief reprieve–
Some taste of stasis–
Something better than this
Come to me now, distant savior
All of it
I breathe you in like water
You rush through me and out of me:
a tickle at my ear.
I hum a tune that is faint and purple
You barely notice that you notice me.
You will try to ignore it,
fight to push it out of your mind,
but you won’t stop listening.
I sing honey liquid notes
you’ll hear whatever you want to hear
You will find yourself
ever closer to me.
the perfumed air around me:
Sweet lotus blossom
salty ocean breeze
You will find bliss,
you will lose yourself,
and I will take you there.
If you come closer,
I will breathe you in like water and
We will rush through me,
no more pain.
That pas de deux of awkward hello’s
A sashay into “how are you”
The stiff arabesque of “Look, I’m fine”
Just trying to be en pointe
Bud of light,
grow me calm
in your evening gown
of licking flame.
burn me awake
Swell yourself by
sipping on fragrant waxes
warm me OK
in a fit of passion
and melt yourself away.
Linger glowing orange on your stem
when you disappear in a string of smoke.
Garden of fire,
pin-prick nebulae burning bright:
Leave me immolated and purged.
warm me alright.
Never fall in love with a poet
Things get too abstract
hard to understand
Things get too meaningful
Things get too rhythmic
You should know what to expect
There may yet be a plot twist
If you try
To read between
At the whims
black and white prints only
in memory’s prison with
Melting into an armchair existence,
Trained for careful analysis,
deep critical thinking
wineglass candle light
and year-old playlists.
unravels the mystery of
and the mid-morning cabernet
of incessant worry—
Desire that is directionless
for a lost child
in the store
Yearning as strong as
just wanting some fucking sleep.
Feelings as wrong as
just trying to figure out my shit, leave me alone
Patient as long as
it takes to decipher this ink-blot adulthood.