I had to stop a group of angry but right people from blowing up a building
I ran like a hungry lion from floor to floor down hallways with dirty walls &
ceilings spilling wires like intestines
Up the stairs down the stairs my calves burning with lactic acid & mission
I had to keep it all secret from the person in charge – the hero in his own world
with electric power that zapped people’s hopes & implanted leashes that he held
in his teeth – a leader shackled by the velvet red rope of evil
I had to do it all barefoot
Finally, I gathered people in a half-finished gym told them the truth that the leader
was bankrupt the building was crumbling the program was helpful but only if we
Let It Go
I had to yell so everyone could hear me & the hope in my voice
I covered my fear with inspiration
The person holding the lighter to ignite the bombs tossed the lighter on the dusty floor
We were all so hungry
My words hung over us like escape ladders
I took the first step didn’t look back though my back was on fire with gazes
I cried in the stairwell all those steps down down
On the ground level the hotel was bustling
Life folding into itself unstoppable
I saw an empty armchair in the shadow of a shiny black piano
I sat exhausted
Soon the droves of angry followers would release through every doorway every elevator
Quietly holding the what-could-have-been in their throats like coughs
There would be no grand standoff
There would be no pile of dead bodies
There would be no execution of the sloppy leader
Only the determined heat of organized change
The thick yeasty wafts of letting go
The spectrum of blues painting hope in tired minds
The slow drawl of forgiveness
The skin on the top of my hand
Is red raw from scratching
It happens in the pitch of night
Fingernails digging in
I wake to a thin moist opening
Four layers torn through
A shiny veil of blood
What am I forgetting?
What have I abandoned
That has hunkered into my hand
A squint-worthy mystery
A case unsolved
Salve oh salve!
What are you carrying
In your magical mixture?
What garden are you traipsing in?
I’m on my knees listening for
The crack of stems breaking
Willing to die herbs weeds weeping
Under fat raindrops –
Small oceans emptied
Red raw skin
In the pitch of night
Shiny veil of blood an open gate
Poetry comes in the mornings gently coaxed out by Chris at Firefly. The words sometimes are stubborn. They hide inside the unawakened folds in my brain. Luckily, I have a bright flashlight. I’ve learned how to coax too.
Yesterday was three weeks since she passed. I’m barely writing about it. Keeping the socials clear of her death. It’s enough to feel her dancing in my chest.
The pandemic soldiers on. Adaptation continues. The heat reminds me how to sweat out. The dogs keep my cold feet warm.