Like you I dread
The cascade of terrible deals waiting each day in the junk folder of a yahoo account
Offers for things I don’t want, need, fear
Including Nina’s daily offer of
Gorgeous Russian brides
(Which raises so many questions)
I decide to believe
They are all nesting dolls
With the hopefully-hypothetical Nina the biggest mama doll
Seamed at the waist so
Each smaller iteration can come out
With her own
Painted-on wedding dress, bouquet of flowers
in a line they become their own wedding procession
Waiting for Someone to breath on them
Making us all real.
First the house is a messy
Then the wife
Gentle tyranny of ordinary things
Compared to cardinal ones, twos, threes
All that can be multiplied, added, subtracted
Divided between us.
Whether before or after the flock of cranes fly upstream at dusk, the moon catches its own face in the watercup waves
One three-quarter cameo dances into many
silvery-petalled-moons spun from the
Streaming coattails of a brooding sun
who has just
up the river bank, across the burnished rooftops, past the crayoned, arbitrary horizon
Good-bye he said, over broad, burning shoulders,
leaving me all this lovely
I always show up somewhat grudgingly, worried about imaginary time, until I see how much he loves them and how much they need him while in the after dark crickets sing
They have always been placeholders for real chairs, blue, plastic, broken in the sun. Despite the advice of well-wishers, I keep them, good enough for now.
Nose running, he rifles through piles of unfolded clothes looking not for the library books which are due today but for everyday handkerchiefs you say you are lonely and wish you had someone to talk to the trick is to stay amicable strangers he finds nasal-remedy-counter-wiping-dish-cleaning-spill-absorbing bits of cut-up-cotton beneath the burnished sink exclaiming I hit the jackpot! As if he had–the neon casino, the human animals trained on slot machine monotonies and the tall handsome kid who just needs a piece of something to blow his nose hitting jackpot with a cascade of washcloths emerging from whatever machine or game or apparatus you might win them from
You might win them and not know you had won because you don’t expect things you win to be old, worn, ordinary
Hoping instead for quarters, bright metonymical poker chips things of value in the gambling sense of course bright bits of new, new noses, running, treasury things, hit-or-miss, a gamble,
I leave the shower curtain on the living room floor and the little boy who does and does not resemble us takes it up, exclaiming, the periodic table! with the remains of his little boy voice.
Later, after forgetting and days of heavy gravity, I lift the curtain and pierce each hole again, arms growing heavy-diagonally, the way trees grow.
Admire the way they have been ordered each in their brightly colored boxes. Iron, gold, carbon, oxygen, and the exotic ones we seem to have conjured to fill up the empty places.
- There whether we see or not.
- Unchanged by our indifference.
- Three or more dimensional even if we only see them flat.
- Elements and symbols for when full words seem to be not enough
He speaks to us in parables.
I don’t own a gun but I am grateful the barefoot neighbor in Sutherland Springs did.
Every time we face the devastation of a mass shooting in this country I want to say things like:
We cannot monetize an entertainment culture of violence and not expect it to sway the unhinged.
If we want “better” gun laws we have to enforce the ones we already have.
Andhow many of us know there will be a fatal gap between when 911 is dialed and when help arises?
Without civil accountability in public safety
There is no safety at all.
When I tell you I found the old mushroom-colored sweatshirt which saw us through thick and thin you will know I am talking about the way the Romans used to have it done, long pole, wad of cloth, vinegar soaked as we raise it to the real hero, his naked pain, the way he eschews ordinary safety for a stretched-to-the-limits agony
I take the brush, add the cleanser, wipe it all down with an uneasy litany
Drab for color
Old for young
Plain for beautiful
Forgotten for remembered
Me for you
Death for life