How many times
can I make this wrong decision?
(it can’t be a mistake
if I do it with such precision)
How many times
will I return to this same sadness?
(who knew thinking rationally
could be riddled with such madness)
How many times
must I long for something more?
(it hurts, knowing what I could’ve had
–it was offered me twice before)
I am tired of disappointment
and I am tired of resistance
(perhaps that is why I must preserve
these idealizations from a distance)
Now many times I wonder if I can
preserve the potential they claimed to see
somehow prove the metaphorical finger I’ve worn so long
isn’t the only thing the world will see of me.
I am a house with no one inside
but that sole inhabitant that years ago died.
With my ghost voice I called and invited you in
that someone might live in this house again.
But the visitors that come never stay
and these ghost gray lips grow grayer gray
till the day they are not heard anymore
though I still sit screaming behind the door.
The light shines through the shutters
revealing the yellow latticework
that is invisible in the daylight
and what if the shadow shapes of what is not there
are the outlines of this invisible world
available only to the waking few?
they feel the latticework on their face
now on their hand
and wait for some small shadow to climb it
a burglar in the night.
When she breathes a chilly breath
and folds in on herself
and her branches like arms quiver
and the leaves dance and shiver
When she wraps herself in a sunlight shawl
and wears a silver moon cap to sleep
and all is painted red and gold
and the leaves tumble from her hold
When she tethers the short daylight scarf around her neck
and her tears leak from cracks in the sky
then open your door, she is here
and welcome, welcome, Autumn my dear
You feel them coming first, before anything else. It starts somewhere in the back of your mind, somewhere you don’t really pay much attention to until it’s the only place in your mind that has your attention. It’s like your mind is a glass of water and you miss the fact that vibrations in the ground are sending small rippling waves across the surface. The surface breaks and the water sloshes out of the bowl and you sit up with a jolt. That’s how it begins.
Next your heart begins to beat the slightest bit faster. You can’t help it. It’s not nerves or anything like that, it’s just part of the effect and that’s all. It feels like the earth is trembling and the concrete beams in all directions will shake themselves loose. So you feel that they’re coming.
Maybe you try to ignore it or maybe you sit up and stare out your window, but either way, they have your attention now. That’s when you start to hear them. Windows down or windows up, it’s amazing either way that the glass hasn’t all shattered.
You feel the vibrations in your very bones and your ears try to make sense of something so loud you can’t quite understand exactly what it is you are listening to. The noise (or if you are feeling generous, the music) grows louder still and you hear the additional and occasional squeal of tires, the revving of an engine.
Finally, you see them. More often then not you feel surprised and maybe a bit disappointed because you were expecting a red Lamborghini or a yellow Mustang or at least something black and sleek. But all you see is the green Honda civic or the silver Volvo or mom’s old minivan and a very small figure sitting behind the dashboard, clutching at the steering wheel with one hand, hoping it doesn’t vibrate out of grasp.
The tires let out another squeal, and likely they do too, as they take the curve in the parking garage a bit too quickly and narrowly dodge the concrete walls. They pull away and out of your sight. The noise becomes incoherent once more. Once again, all you are left with is the thumping in your chest and in your body and the pounding in your ears until all becomes still and silent.
Once again it is as if nothing has happened, as if there have been no disruptions to the water in that bowl in the corner of your mind and not a drop has been spilt, but you think something.
You think something usually related to ‘need for attention’. Words like ‘ridiculous’ or even just ‘wow’ float in and out. And maybe you think, this is how we humans must look to the rest of the universe and all the other creatures in our world. Maybe we are parking garage humans in a world of quiet creatures watching us from the windows of their cars.
Write write write
hasn’t this fight already been fought?
if I had any thoughts to write
maybe I could write when I ought
It was too much to gaze
upon the glory of God
All left in a reverent daze
Knelt our human skins, awed
But if they gazed instead at me
stunned and blinded, we who fell
surely would speechless be
at the soul inside the human shell