The Strangeness of Common Things
What can be spoken about but the
accidental consequences of
things well planned, past the point of comfort,
words unable to change the only
fact we would alter, a touch missing
its aim. I’m discussing the old
realization that I am not your
body, learned when I first perceived a
fist was attached to the end of my
arm. No better way exists to say
this at three in the morning, too far
from dawn and beyond the reach of your
exhausted sleep. Earlier today,
when I tore up the grass, its seeds spread
themselves farther than the wind could have
carried them. Inside, dishes undo,
laundry suffers mutely in colored
piles, the toddler always leaving the
room, one step ahead, one foot behind.
My thoughts are not your thoughts, floating there
in plasma. I don’t know whose they are.
Feeling the Future
For weeks, in various venues and
under diverse circumstances, I
have felt compelled to fall down on my
knees and pray. Sometimes I am saying
thank you, others I exclaim about
mystery, but mostly I express
awe at what’s coming, as if my ear
were on the rail or my eye above
the yard like a hawk’s. If I were to
pick a card from the deck, the Tower
would look back at me from the future,
struck by lightning, men tumbling from its
heights, a shock that can’t be prevented
nor understood until it’s over.
Even joy is hard on the system.
Try adjusting to perfection on
the bus ride to the underworld when
all you see are people you once knew,
bewildered and repeating themselves.
What does it matter that I struck the side
of my cage and bent my scissors? I’m not
the first to look for a receipt and find
it gone! How can I have forgotten my
tendency to mention the sky when I’m
short on theory, notice the lock on the
door only when I don’t like the meal. Let
me tell you, little porcupine, today
I am more hog than hedge, given the long
winter. I don’t have your defenses; all
I know to do is roll up in a ball.
How can we hatch plans for escape while
you keep rubbing against the keeper?