It’s bright, it’s light, it’s The bad cop, not The good one. I’m in A small stuffy room Without a lawyer, Without any water. Every mistake is on the table, Spread out like a deck Of jokers, Every one the death card. The questions bullet; I have no answers. Water comes, I remember medication Or meditation. End of Interrogation. Twilight begins. Welcome silence. Not black, Not a dog.
These empty, faceless days Pass in a nameless haze; A smorgasbord of news bites Leaves our minds eaten away. Should we be grateful or afraid? Tomorrow promises the same; Isolated from routines, We adapt to this new distance– Please stay six feet away. Flower children, pressed inside Our individual pages: We remain solitary, Confined, safe, waiting To be allowed to play Once again. To hold hands, To hug and dance! Will it ever be the same? I wonder what The history books will say About us.
Like a reprieve Comes the soft morning breeze; An unwrinkled sheet between us, Bisecting yet connecting Blazing dreams And cold quotidian chores. We’re given a chance once more To drift weightlessly, Aimlessly, In apricot-tinged hope On an undemanding tightrope. The thin glimmer of Love’s gold shimmer Becomes a carousel of birdsong In this rose-petaled dawn. Almost here, Almost there— We toss our hearts in the air, Suspended, Unrepentant. One last shuddering streak— Violet periwinkle pink— Soon dissipates In the bright eye of day.
I’ve been swimming alone For a long time… The water First too cold, Now sublime; I slide, I glide Through the darkness, Blind. My wounds smoothed over Are all on the inside. When I bump up against you, All buttery sleekness, There’s nothing to hold onto, No pain, No weakness. Two circling seekers Float on unmolested, Swallowed by the vastness, No point of connection. Bubbles of potential Drift along indifferent, While stars shine beyond This sea of solipsis.
It’s been a good month of sunsets Outside the conference room window, Splashing down behind the old Hyatt– A riot of violet, indigo, crimson. As the days lengthen And storms malinger, The sky waits for my drive home, Candy striping on my commute– Watermelon, apricot, grape. I stop at the fairgrounds To take a shot of butterscotch Streaking out of sight. Summer will soon push them later, After I’m inside for the night. I tire early now; One day I’ll see my last. I wonder which kind it will be– The glorious burst of final savage color, Or a slow unremarkable fade to black?
They’re out there somewhere… Not a joke. I catch glimpses of their lives Floating through mine Via misdirected emails: The other Paula Lights.
One of them has DISH TV– That might be nice, All those channels. I could watch anything And everything! Well, I do have trouble with choice; This is known.
Another one, married, Bought homeowners insurance; They seem like a solid couple, Smart financial planning. I was like that once, With a house and a husband, Doing all the things I was supposed to do.
Sad day– One of the Paulas has a tribute page Posted for a deceased relative. The confirmation came to me. (Please do not reply.) I probably should have done Something like that For my parents.
One shops at Wal*Mart And I get her alerts, No way to unsubscribe. She bought a granite-topped cart, Which looks pretty cool. I had a cart once, In that house with the husband. They’re convenient, at times: Carts and husbands.
Fun! One of them just visited Margaritaville Casino In Bossier City (Bossier!), Louisiana. The casino asked me If I enjoyed my stay– I’m sure I did.
These other Paula Lights Are in the Midwest, Where I once lived too Among the blizzards and ‘nadoes. For all I know, They’re the same person, Or maybe they’re reflections of me, The OP, Living my parallel life.
Cold-blooded… Chilled mud Slugs through Snaky veins. What must it be like To have a body That doesn’t Keep your own heart warm? Relying on a sunny morn To shake off the torpor And get kill-ready again? Sliding into an icy pond, The search for lunch Turns slo-mo. All you can do Is poke your nose Above the frozen surface Until the gelatin mold Returns to predator soup. All these gator faces Only trying to breathe, Waiting out the freeze; They know how to survive. Basally alive, Crocodile popsicles Dream of electric blankets And ready-to-eat sheep, Hoping their soul mates Aren’t cheating In their sleep.