I remember the sad words & how they

Must have hung themselves to the sound

Of water running—a single voice poised

Against the clay shadows of plants

& the sound of positive reinforcement

Being played like a flute after

I’d given up already, mumbling No biggie!

As if my life wasn’t already a bathtub

Full of jokes & soap suds “just ironic enough”

It was like a stranger’s face or a bad Halloween mask

Had melted on the radiator & I couldn’t look away

It was like saying it simply wasn’t making it

More complicated than it was

Like it wasn’t making it more complicated

To begin with & taking codeine for my gout

& walking back to my truck silently

My lungs burned like trees determined

To set themselves right, I was getting at the meaning

Of a small window glaring in the snow

& thinking about strolling thru

The apple orchard naked with aplomb

I half died from these feelings that came

Over me & as the furnace pilot ignited

It was like a cold weight had been lifted


I’ve been waiting for the equinox

For what seems like forever now

& I’ve paid for more minutes so

I can talk on my cell phone 1 hour

But I only know silence—

A clump of glinting red bicycles

Sitting idle against the “familiar”

The prattling 21st C. spewed

Back at the street where this guy

Is a stick & I’m frozen like a hat

In the ice & like a shadow in

The time lapse of my own stillness

It is this pointlessness I see as

A map to somewhere better

It’s this flawless X-ray of something

Broken inside me that’s got me

Staring up at the zenith—at each

Slow moving cold front dropping

Down here from Canada—my face

Deadened in the used up light

& unless someone reaches out

& touches me I’m going to flat line

In wet socks—I’m never going to

Move again in warm pants