Call in Well

Once in a while, take a “well” day from work
Steal time to get sick from lack of fun.
Oh, that’s a well day. Ditching work,
Like skipping school, or cheating God on
Saturday or Sunday, when even
Omnipotence takes a break from our sin.
Just go splice in a memory or two,
Let the fence rattle outside the office borders.

Unexpectedly, a cheap a suit of guilt
Pours over me like butter on popcorn.
The late afternoon hour nears when
I run the Hamster wheel, now idle and empty,
Settled. I curl like a tumbleweed —
A discarded lunch bag blows
In a parking lot outside the rows
Of cubes, terminals, staple guns, coin ops.
Forget it. Find a friend, a park, a book, a bridge.
Allow the sinuous arms of the white light to
Hug you and the sun warmly kiss you.
Cheat the race, just once. Permit the
Yellow dwarf fingers to tickle your cheeks.
Go sow seeds for a summer field of freckles.

Between peak traffic hours, daydreams
Inside clouds of exhaust, debris,
Clogging arteries and boulevards.
Streets and yellow jacket roads railing
Those cars jacked up on broken down backs
Sitting on the side of the road much taken.
Sneak off at the next exit one day,
Then pull over and lie.
Tell a fib if you must,
Better the truth if you can.
But don’t get fired.
Take it from me and keep your choice.
I’m a force of retirement
And I don’t call you anymore
From here…but I do envy you.

Letter Rite I Cannot Must

Tear up the calendars of the days when my heart boiled over with the heat of blood lit love.

I buried myself in your scent. I luxuriate within the velvet folds of your robes, yet I am incense. I’m  curling like a cat’s tail around your head and finally come to rest in a pool filled by all of your layers.

When we slept alone. No one spoke to  me in my dreams. I shift away into black clean sleep, farther away than consciously knowing what to do, I followed the echoes home.

Late again, I found your back to me.

Now without a sun it looks wrong across the dark sea sky. I no longer know who hooked a wrong turn, and you were lost in the wrong direction. I’d forgotten how to write a postcard.

Right now with a look invented by yesterday, slip your card secretly into my pockets. You added to my risk profile a division problem with a remainder of

suffering that’s the equal to infinity which holds in its palm all of the numbers, even the odd imaginary ones,

and the one that cannot be divided except by either one of us. As two we fell into an affair of afterthoughts. Stupid throw away lines like “all the stars ever born.”

We embodied all the love ever swallowed. It was as if by will of force someone moved to live right now, and a life declared itself lit by our success.

But we failed. Tested low. Us so unaverage, painting with our blame we blacken our everythings. Spending a dollar meant more than my Cheshire smile in a body washed up on a Royal red blood tide upon the lights of the Queen’s necklace.

Failure listens through walls. It hears drumming, but shouting so much more like distant children getting slapped in shame, which is owned by a hand. It belongs to God’s voice, and you bestowed on me the right to forgive only one of us.

It’s easy to forget when you can cast the last stone during a secret ritual in a dead language. How I cannot write this down now, because I have loved only once.

My doubt exceeded measurable magnitudes, too much to write a simple goodbye. The letters cracked my body in half, and in a desert pond I lay thinking I must die just now. The dice threw themselves at my head as I woke up in a hysterical position.

Because I do remember justice’s blind compassion. You saw blindly into me and I heard you silently say, tracking me everywhere in your blue gaze – hide and never forget us and the forgotten will never find us.

So where now do I go to find you and make our new roots green again?

I can’t leave here knowing that we became each other’s closing doors. The endless slamming made us mad with deserving so much more than this.

It’s so bright outside and I must go touch the sun or the earth will split in half like an egg and lose the life we meant to live into it’s bath in the universe.

And the last sound you hear is shattering of my iced soul and it’s cradled body hitting the hot air and then gone forever.

Facial Blindness*

Her brittle old tortoise shell prescriptions
Blur a head of softly graying curls
He needs a cut, she whispers, always to herself.
Anyone in or not in the grocery store line that afternoon.
Recognizing
Cantaloupe, honeydew, whole milk
Lettuce heads and newly sprouted wheat, and
Baby spinach asleep in the sway of her basket.
A figure furiously waves from ahead of him,
As if he’s about to shoot the games winning point,
Calling his name
Louder than a fool.
God knows everyone by name.
Thankfully.
No one knows how old a person grows
When you meet them again for the first time
Every day grows old the second time.
Meeting a mirror,
Waving at a mistake.

She imagined him drawing
On her insides by
Some mysterious ancient men in the caves
of France with
Sepia stick figures or during the war
Kilroy was here.
Words and pictures.
Guilty of cervical vandalism.
Warm looks exchanged and
Holding him in her
knowing glance,
“Mother, it’s you.”

*Prosopagnosia – a brain disorder of the occipital and temporal lobes that doesn’t allow a person to recognize another person’s face. It’s as if looking at someone through a dense fog. Helpful in recognizing a person by sight include physical quirks and traits, for example a severe limp, large glasses, a very tall person, or bright hair, etc. Without any guideposts even a husband can look straight through his wife in a mall and never know they’d passed one another at all. The poem imagines an anecdote related to me by an acquaintance of mine who has had prosopagnosia his entire life. He could not recognize his own mother in line at a grocery store after she’d gotten new prescription glasses and had forgotten to tell her son. And he’d forgotten to tell her that those old glasses were his only queue…