For a long time after the fact, I pretended
to be the jilted lover, scrambling through
the mad fits of romance
toward the repose of therapy.
A hot, hot light was our love,
for a matter of months,
a light that cast the
laying of limbs as a similarity
enforced. Winter strolls
toward the restaurant, arm in arm,
breath escaping its own lovely heat
toward the syncopated siren-call
of Christmas lights.
We called forth names to match
the pictures in an envelope.
More remembering than doing,
our dance spins the heart into
the conductor of a vast and tired
string-pit, furious in its motion, waiting
for the blood to coagulate into a perfect
series of notes, but settling for a muted
libretto from a blind chest.
And the catcalls carry no reprisal,
but an idea of when to stop,
something to lead the orchestra back
into the dim corridors below the stage.
Now that the fabled cadaver
is once again a man,
the human can be removed from the horizon,
the wild world deanthropomorphized,
magic intentions be damned.
A sad sailor on the docks, forgetting
himself in the wisp of his pipe,
caving in under the weight of his jacket.
Stopping a moment to take in the sight
of water a few feet away,
slopping the beach mindlessly.
The act of transfiguration becomes no
different from counting down the calendar with
a red pen, filling the days until
all diagonals meet, halting at the border.
A quest for peace, an examination
of barnacles too settled to scrape off. My folks,
while moving into my childhood home,
discovered an old stack of documents
on a shelf in a back closet.
They couldn’t for the life of them
match the handwriting to any known soul.
Nor could I, in months to come. But as those papers
are now under my care, I trace the loops
with my pencil nightly.