I’m a fool and there’s no
getting back all the things I have lost. No use crying
for the little pieces, all the bits that
made up what I once was, a
lie destined to disintegrate
under scrutiny. Somewhere
out there is a man
rewriting my history
and this time, he’s promised
to make me interesting. Not even
oncoming traffic stops for me now, I
have grown so invisible
to be forgotten. My
new identity will belong to
someone more dynamic
headline-grabbing, genius, but for now I must sit
patient with the person I
am now. Even a
fool can learn to love
peace of mind
the quiet peace of real things
the pace of reality. Oh,
The Very Last Drop
on the last day, when the world finally ends, I hope
I’m sitting in my car, driving somewhere nice, thoughts of the day ahead
filling my head with anticipatory joy. I hope my favorite song
is playing on the radio, and I hope that I have just enough time to sing along
all the way to the end of the song.
if the world was to truly end on a perfect note, then I
would have a cup of coffee by my side
hot but not too hot, and just enough to last until the very
last second. I don’t really care how it all ends,
so long as I don’t know it’s coming, so long as
I don’t have to think about it, have to prepare for it, have to dread it
in any way. I don’t want to live through
global starvation, a prolonged, senseless war, weeks of
television shows featuring children dying somewhere else.
I want the end
to be something nobody saw coming but the sandwich-board
prophets, standing crazy on street corners, waving their dirty fists
up at the sky as if
some god up there
was glaring down at the earth, making maniacal plans
to destroy everybody and everything we’ve taken so comfortably for granted.
want to end up like those mammoths dug out of rock ice in Russia
found completely intact, flash frozen, with food still in their mouths
caught by disaster in mid-chew, mid-thought
For New Constellations
If you were to set me free, I would leave with only
a rolled-up animal skin tent strapped to my back
a pocketful of dried berries and reindeer meat
a chunk of ice in a bucket to later melt into water.
I would give you one backwards last glance,
one last chance to stop me
before disappearing into a landscape of glaciers and polar bears
a sky filled with so many stars.
It would only take moments for my retreating figure
to be swallowed up in an expanse of white snow, only moments
for the wind to erase my footprints, the twin snaky signatures left by my sled.
Eventually, you’ll discover that all of your letters
have been forwarded to a research station abandoned by Russians
years before, everything you forgot to say in person
has been shredded into bedding by arctic foxes and penguins
chewed into mulch by inquisitive polar bears.
In Search of Truth
In the 14th century, world-renowned traveler Sir John Mandeville
came back to England with stories of a “vegetable sheep,”
thinking that the cotton plants he’d seen growing in India
were actually embryonic sheep, born out of the hard little wooden nubs.
First, sheep start out as fluff, he theorized, then the hoofs and the legs emerged
pulling the body and head out afterwards. He didn’t stay in India long enough
to see the cotton grow into a sheep, but he did bring home several pods
for scientists to dissect and study, in hopes of growing more
vegetable sheep in English soil.
It wasn’t until 1557
that Italian scientist Girolamo Cardano
wrote an extensive and exhaustive thesis on how soil
could not possibly provide the requisite heat for the fetal development of animals
he was very sure of this. There were rumors
of questionable experiments, a slew of missing dogs and cats
a few sheep from the surrounding countryside
tiny graves and headstones in his backyard
hidden just behind a plot of sweet peas and marigolds.
If we were alive a thousand years ago
the only way we would have ever gotten together
would be briefly: you, emerging from your spartan
clay-floored monk’s cell, horsehair-stippled habit
hiding your rough, angry frame as you stomped
off into the woods, into the night
to my tiny hut packed with bottles of bright-colored rocks
roof fallen inward from the weight of birds’ nests and ivy
packed to the ceiling with things found on my walks
eyes of tiny creatures watching from every corner.
I would greet you at the door, hair wild and unkempt
leaves and twigs stuck in the knots at the base of my neck
greet you and your rules and order without question or thought.
There would be a moment in all of this where we made total sense
where our differences didn’t matter, as if we evened each other out
where our grunting and screaming was some type of language
that erased the whole world around us. Eventually, though,
just like now
the sun always comes up
and we remember who we are.