Fulmination: A poem in photographic parts

To my aram cara, who knew this poem prior to its appearance here, I decided to publish its parts as photographs. We may never get a chance to see our images together in a picture. Perhaps one of us hands our phone to a passerby after asking if they’d not mind, “oh thank you so much it means a lot to us.” I imagine we grasp hands, walk over to an ancient wall by the seaside on a lucky sunny day. We’re both in big sunglasses, floppy hats, blonde hair peaking out, bright smiles. Our flowing white dresses bought the day before, when we heard it would be unseasonably warm. It’s close to lunchtime. We thank the passerby and we say nothing and I slip the phone into my backpack. Sighing simultaneously, both of us know the value of that photograph. A dream.

The Fulminating Infection

Findness

“Let go of your ego.
Send it up up and away!
For a while, anyway.”
Opening my each
Of my eyes I wonder
Did anyone even notice
I’d gone up
Ascending into the clouds
Like a bird or a plane.
I’m looking down
At unmapped topography.
Memories of me:
Images of a wolf running
Through unknown forests
Below the tree canopy;
A blue heron
Flying from the pine tops
Without much energy.

Alone I melt
Like ice cream
In a root beer float.
Red polkadot swim suit,
Yellow rubber bathing cap
Careful eyes look out
Upon blue pools.
Back in the days
When the evening news
Was on paper and
When a date meant
Sipping from the same
Soda with two straws
Across a white and
Gold booth table.
As our eyes lock over the
Last sip, how the
Sweetness lingers
At the tips of your
Tongue and fingers.

I search for my
Self in the daily mirror
But the image is
Backwards and not
Of me. So I peek behind
The frame for a part
Of myself I’d left for dead.
Forgetting to write up
The homework of my experience
Innocence in ink,
Double spaced on lined paper:
My interview and questions.
I won’t forget to
Acknowledge and thank
you in my notes.
But the postcards sit
Unstamped and unposted
I’m at home, heart forever
Elevated above my head.

Broken Circle

A mirror can’t judge you
Nor can it lie,
A hung jury deliberating
In a lawless box.
Facing adjudication
I swear
On a stack of miracles
As a refugee
Belonging nowhere
I get dressed for the trial anyway.
Singing, humming, bustling
Like yesterday but no chair
Awaits me at any desk, no rustling
Paperwork into the corrals
Where the palominos ran.
I’m instead looking at four walls
Painted dove gray and orange.
The mind of an orangutan
Looking at the empty crates
No more books no more tape
No more staples, no more breaks.
Water coolers generate condensation
Leaving now your conversations
Gossips of Karen’s and Kate’s
Sales pitched over the plate
By Pete’s and Paul’s and the VPs.
Why I’ve never smoked
But I now show signs of
Someone older with a gash
Between my eyes
As though a killer with an axe
Took me for a blind ride by surprise.
Catch your breath, still slapping
An oak desk or a glass table
From a joke we all heard a hundred times
The overripe punchlines left
A prime meridian of jokes
The longitude of laughter
Down to the frown ground into
Cleft chins and Adam’s apples.
The mirror round, a circle nothing
Special, or even social.
Sorely left concave and convex
Yet impressionable
Not beautiful but attractive
Not pretentious, but on reflection
Of one more than anything
You knew about everyone else
All the knowns and even the odds
Of the unknown futures. The past
Imperfect and Impossible still
Nothing of a future state
Meant to somebody
Who once held weight around here.
They saw your signal
At the stop sign Not a zodiac but
A night light spotting by accident
Before it happened making
A living beyond killing as a comic
The twist of a cosmic relief made to
Unsteady the hands the end of a pair
Of arms of two feet right in front
Of your very eyes moments unfolded
In sheets on a bed waiting for you
White and Egyptian. Enter with
A card key and a new friend.
She’s ready, willing like Able to Cain.
Sisyphus or Thor your
Next door neighbors. During the silent
Years you never knew me, the unicorn.
“She found her horn in the yard,”
Everyone knows. It was a joust
From beating her head against
A brick house. The place
Where now justice ahead of us
Made a left and t-boned into
The passenger, dead by impact.
Tomorrow’s special the guilt
Pie. Eaten a la mode with sprinkles.
Sailing across the bench seat into
Your empty children
Lying to you not strapped in
Tricked by slight of unhanded
Sighs of relief knowing why
The cage door open
And the bird sings yet never
Leaves. Unclipped wings don’t try
Wet with sea spray don’t dry.
Good luck take care and these
Twice a day during questioning
By a peace officer without any
Tickets to the ride to the station
Where I have the right
Go ahead make a call. What
Number - call Pi, or infinity.
Like those wild eyes I saw in the
Mirror just this morning.
Nobody has a will or a right to the truth
The mirror always lies and hangs
Me upon the wall where I got framed.