Who were we to each other
once upon a time,
long before we sat in this circle
on the grass talking of
sunshine and wine?
Perhaps we looked
upward to a star
and settled upon our drums,
striking the snares with precision
to tell the skies
we’d been here before
and would be here again,
in this place
and those to come.
Hold onto your memory,
you whose smile is strained,
for I see what you do.
This storied day
is the one that
I’m bones that must Exit here
to be at my desk by 8:58 A.M.
Get out of my way.
I no longer have a pulse,
but I do have a memory one,
faded as it is,
like a pair of watercolor jeans.
I’m pushing you.
Don’t you feel my hand?
You look through me, as if I don’t exist.
Is any of this real?
Oh my God.
I’m but a skeleton sucking air,
answering to the whim of my masters –
This is my stop.
She’s a nice person.
She has a common face.
Her lips are painted magnolia, cheeks rouged pink.
Her hair is pulled back, dyed straw blonde and blown straight.
A smile is affixed to her face, quaking as if drawn by a child’s finger.
She looks towards the door of the subway car, her mask tight.
She’s resentful because she’s had no voice.
She was whistled at when she was young and ignored now that she’s old.
She’s been yelled at by men for driving too aggressively and honked at for going too slow.
Her boss eats the lunch his wife packed and interrupts her to say she should use fewer words.
Her friends make recriminations over the mommy at soccer practice who brought cupcakes instead of healthy snacks.
Her own kids don’t know who she really is.
Her husband treats her like furniture.
And she can’t stand it.
But what is she to do?
She doesn’t want to be a Bitch or Slut.
She’s a Mother.
She’s a nice person.
She clutches her black purse and jacket,
staring into space,
her lips a slash of purple skin.
In the City of Palmettos,
I am drinking my coffee and looking at the remnants of a waffle, alone.
Mottled shadows fall across the wooden table dripping of varnish that dried in haste.
A cacophony fills the open air.
There are too many people here,
as there are in Manhattan.
Finding peace seems elusive,
for there is always a voice asking something of me,
demanding that I speak politely or insinuating that I do not.
My silence is my stubbornness.
It reminds me of the night before, a stark contrast.
We walked along the deadened street where
I reveled in the quarter moon, and how close to you I felt with your hand in mine.
We stumbled upon a restaurant curling with European charm, then onto an ancient church, gated, with an overgrown path that led into darkness.
But this morning is the same as all the others.
Too much noise.
Too much humanity.
Dissonance and palms.