Monday, November 16, 2009

Life with Crows

It was a cold February day

when the war of words began.

In reality, boxing with ghosts.

Looking back, we realized

all the crows were gone.

We had never noticed.

There were so many things we never noticed –

shadows in the room, phantoms,

influence peddlers, spreaders

of misconception, missed perceptions.

Upon reflection, we realized

we had never noticed.

The crows were gone,

migrated to a sacred tree.

Carried across the divide

by a microscopic virus ,

a name reminiscent of Cleopatra.

Black-winged corpses strewn in yards.

It was already too late for the crows

by the time when we noticed.

It was too late for everyone

when the battles raged in earnest.

Life as we knew it was shattered.

Words exploded around us.

Phantom logic taunted us until we were heaving.

Sharp accusations stabbed vitals organs.

they tried to cast us out, exterminate us,

like the crows we noticed.

Pushed to the periphery,

epithets of ugliness attached themselves

with hooked claws.

yet we limped through, bloodied,

bruised, our spirits not fully broken

as we made our way home.

We hoped no one would notice.

One sunny day in April

years after the war began,

We stood sorting through the rubble

and noticed

the crows had returned home (to us).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 10

(for Sam on his birthday)

Thirteen years ago I carried you
over the miracle waters.

We feasted on milk and honey and promises.

You whispered your name
in a language too ancient to write.

For a moment, our world was golden.

Later you said we would always be
together like apples in pie--

apples with bitterness tempered
by that sweet golden crust.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sunday Afternoon at the Movies

In a moment of middle-aged madness

I decide to run the flight of stairs

two at a time. Heart racing,

I am reminded of how in dreams

I can go faster if I pump my arms.

I might even be able to fly.

Breathless, I triumphantly reach the pinnacle.

But gravity has its say.

My protesting legs buckle and instantly give way,

propelling me forward on my knees.

Pride scatters in shards on the speckled carpet

where I appear to be praying before

a Technicolor poster of Johnny Depp.

No one notices.

Stunned, I collect myself, continuing

to the concession counter to meet my family.

After the movie, on the way out, I swear

Johnny Depp winked as I passed.

This time I ride the escalator.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Visiting Room

Steel and glass.
Chairs bolted together.
Nothing leaves this room
of its own free will.

A couple of cold coins
will rent a locker –
small and gun-metal gray.

Pack away the outside.
Roll your emotions tight
into the lining of your coat –
you won’t need them here –
remnants of your body
heat will hold them
as the doors click shut
behind you.