Tuesday, August 31, 2004

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not the voice that comes
from the steam
nor the tide that turns
at the drop of dime
into a newspaper machine.
not a name that fades in the ear
when you turn a corner
nor a name that comes through the
ear peace of your phone that
rings at the dinner hour.
not a lover who misses you
after all the years in jobs
on a far coast where time zones and
temperatures are closer and hotter
that the hotel sheets
are to the mattress where you stare
at the door to the hallway,
the shadows of feet passing in
the middle of the night,
you wonder what your lover
has too say,
not about this meal you're eating
or by what you're reading
but instead about how you're living
in this world when
nothing seems real enough to
count on as if life itself mattered,
i say all these things come back to us
always in the moments when
we're required to be
the selves we've always rehearsed in
mirrors, at home, imagining interviews
and interrogations,
i think of the way your lips grew puffy
the first time i made you cry,
the way your hand traced the words of
the book you were reading
before setting it down
to dress for openings, dinner,
where ever we might be going,
the masks cracks and falls to the floor
when some meaningless phrase is said
and suddenly, powerfully
it’s clenched fists in public places,
the world is removed just then and too loud as well,
it's all those things after all,
every last cough and bottle of beer we balanced
on the fire place, there's nothing i ever had
that i don't miss, you were everything
in front of me, passing by and gone
like a road sign that couldn’t be read.

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