Masked Avengers

Cleaved cleft chins, white teeth, braces, pink watermelon lipgloss, and beards all seem ridiculous these days. Behind a mask there’s no way to shine a smile of gratitude to a shop clerk or for someone’s kindness in holding open a door. We look plastic in polarized soundless shock. The cranes fly overhead in t-formations migrating from and to places I never studied and to think about it those birds I knew, birds where I’ve been basking in year and outside tome. We live in the same warmth that those millions of million year old northerners calved their ill suited families to drag suitcases behind them. Straining and scraping down all the front porch stairs while waiving goodbye wearing dry dirt colored corduroys and flag striped mock tops. Masking the sounds of the dead floorboards as winter draws nearer, I cracked my knuckles on hands divided by savage time.

The True Story

His polished apple green eyes shone beneath his hat brim

The color of a clear blue sky.

A white shirt covered his chest up to his chin. Queued in line that day

And to tell you now the truth of what I found

While I stood impatient and late

In a restaurant now burned to the ground.

Instead of the usual hello or how you’s

I heard the voices of my ancestors all in harmony

In his message undisguised, I heeded the lifelong call.

From the back he He smiled at me and said, “you’re blessed.”

And then he turned around

Where he looked from the front back to me

And he said these words without speaking.

He looked at me and I thought I’ve seen him

Some familiar faces come calling

Some voices the echoes of all time

And I never saw him again in a crowd

Or alone in my dreams at night.

He stood ahead of me and whispered as

He smiled at me, “you’re blessed.”

“Keep talking and writing. Never come to an end. We are watching over you, we hear your every breath.”

“We know you and you’re blessed by god,”

And I said thank you after he said god blessed you to me

And I repeated his last few words.

“Next!” cried out the counter man

Startling my mind from a state

I felt neither here nor now

He ordered a sweet tea and paid

Then took number 81 and he moved left to wait to be called.

I nod to him he nodded as well, he’d already done his calling.

Ordering now paying for my number 82, racing to wash my hands and back

Yet no time had elapsed: when I returned he was gone.

The man behind the counter called out, “81!”

A family of five all hurried to take their grease stained brown bags.

And I looked for him

A sky blue man

But my memory’s all I own.

His skin was the color of every race

His face was ageless and clean

His clothing impeccable

No creases or wrinkles

In his body or his clothes

His hat sat atop his presence

Like a halo or something above his flawless essence.

He may as well have been carved into marble

By the hand that moves the stars

And he disappeared into the sunlight

Before I could ask what right I have

Why me and not someone else?

I felt undeserving of this day

The Beginning my lifelong gift

To lose every fear I’d known of

The pain of my terminal illness

But the ache in my heart vanished

Along with the smile I saw on his face

He brightly shone

Like the mid day sun

And no one heard his name.

When an angel speaks

A message

To you and you alone

Listen and let doubt melt from Your mind

If someone helps carry you home.

Don’t laugh in the face of the messenger

In a moment I understood

That life on multiple dimensions

Can be known but can’t be seen

And god steps with us in the path we take

Be kind and be loved and give what you know

To the world and receive every dream.

The day will come before we leave

The ones in our lives bereft.

No one is spared who’s born

Of pain or of illness or death

From the moment our minds open

Our eyes begin to close again.

Never waste a messengers gifts

Doubting only brings us to our knees

Not bent in prayer or meditation

But in the to the heartache of our own empty grave.

Losses

https://fivedotoh.files.wordpress.com/2020/08/95c54222-adf8-4ace-9cee-ba8dad473d07.jpeg?w=636&h=795

I’m not afraid of my city, the way people once behaved as one might catch cancer if they came close to me.

Stranger hours bring strangers in the darkness and the night closes down the city.

In the darkness there’s a hiding place for everyone.

In everyone there’s a place where darkness resides.

We reside where the damp air creates webs around street lights

Where the lights cast only enough to break into the air thick as Texas toast.

I’ll meet you for breakfast at 3 a.m. for toast and coffee.

We’ll watch the steam rise up from our cups of coffee like dew around streetlights.

And you shake the dew from your mackintosh, remove your toque and hang them like a perspective on the coat rack.

Missing you reminds me of the perspective that life and loss walk the same road though we feel so alone.

And you say I’m alone now. You ask me to come back and love you again.

Again I rise to leave a man who is the loss of who walks along the empty street next to me.

I’m lost I tell you, and love left with you so long ago.

So long I say as I pick up my own coat from my seat in the booth.

And leave you there to feel the loneliness and look at the empty seat as I did before you arrived.

#keepitalive

#fffc

Dedicated to you – and you know this is for you.