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.
If you’re going to live like this, there are some things you should know:
You are going to fuck up. Often. People are going to question you. Often.
You are going to take their advice with a grain of salt.
You are going to prove them right. Often.
You are going to prove them wrong.
And all you need to do is prove them wrong once
to emerge a hero, with a tale, a lesson, an experience that they will covet.
That they will exalt. They will tell the tale far and wide,
even though they were on the sidelines, giving their warnings and crying foul,
because you fuckin’ did it.
You will be remembered.
You will have to fight against instinct.
You will refuse to acknowledge fear.
There will be fear.
And it means nothing.
You will not live to be scared.
You will not live to be proper.
You will not live to be OK.
You will live for the journey.
You will live for the tragedy and the suspense and the miraculous and the uncomfortable and the astounding and the unanticipated and the glorious.
You will live for the best.
And you won’t be left wondering.
You might not live without regrets,
but you won’t regret regretting
it will be amazing.
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
She preferred a multiplicity of flame.
I’ll meet you never,
We’ll always be apart—
But I’ll kiss your shadow
And learn your silence by heart
I’ll see you sometimes
If only in my mind’s eye
I’ll feel your ghost—
Be your eternal aside
I’ll see you somewhere
Yeah, I’ll be around
I’ll sing you a song
that won’t make a sound
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.
Your wide porcelain mouth yawns at me,
Inviting me to fill you
And drain you,
As you swallow a few more gallons of hot weary traveler soup
The cold tile floor along your border
Littered with discarded wash cloths and towels and
Tiny bottles of lotion and shampoo.
Three more fluffy towels are neatly piled on the generic laminate wood end-table
Still folded, still pristine with their precise terry-cloth angles
They perform a charming ruse that suspends disbelief:
These things have never been touched, never used.
Has been in patient waiting for you
And only you