The Clock

We cross over into
the realm of the dead in Iowa,
somewhere outside Charles City,
where a Coors can rolls
on the highway.

I veer around it and glance
in the rear view mirror
as I watch the can
shrink into
the horizon.

Silas sits in the front seat.

“Way to drink
and drive like a pro.
That shows real commitment.”

Maggie’s shoulders wag
as she laughs.

“Should we make a pit stop at
the Gas n’ Go?”

Daniel picks at the skin
on his heel and eats it.

“Up to the driver,” Silas says.

I roll down the window;
the sky is charged with
electricity.

It smells like
McCormick’s vanilla,
and reminds me of making
vanilla pound cake
with my grandma.

I ate the batter
with my fingers,
and she said,
“That’s for the pan,
not you.”

I sense something
is wrong.

The clock reads
4:43 P.M.

“What do you say?”
I hear Silas ask again, but
his voice is far away.

I tap the dash
with my finger,
where the minutes are like tar.

“Guess we could use some gas,”
I say quietly.

Daniel cheers,
“Brewskis it is!”

Silas puts his hand on mine
as I shift to fourth gear
at the exit ramp.

His touch is cold.

I look at him
and my heart trembles.

His cheekbones are hollow,
his lips curl away
from his teeth,
and the light in his eyes
is dim.

I see his expression change
into a mask I saw once
in Playa del Carmen,
all wood and teeth
with angry knife marks.

I glance at my reflection
in the rearview mirror.

My face looks like his:
sunken,
gray,
skin like yellow wax.

“I don’t love you,” Silas says,
as he licks his bluish lips.
“I was waiting for
someone better.”

And I know,
I know,
I know
it’s true.

We can’t see
the ambulance men
who look at their watches
and call our time,
but we can feel them.

Then Maggie screams.

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Chittakash

One night
in the place
between waking
and sleep,
before darkness
and dreams,
I found myself treading water
in an endless ocean,
when Chittakash spoke to me.

He said,
“I am the great emptiness
between your eyes.

My domain is a vast sea
of undulating waves
stretching
beneath endless gray skies.

Look.

Look at me.

You are floating in my waters,
safe and
buoyant.

I am cradling you
as You look
upwards
into my belly of turning storm clouds.

I am the place between
creation and chaos,
the point between your eyes
that is the infinite
You.

The only You.

Where there is no ego and no body and no name.

Only Chittakash.”

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