Go Ahead

It’s a box that grins softly to be opened,
as if the last bite of chocolate were inside,
the bite I amble toward
as if I don’t need it,
as if I’m only finishing what I started …

It’s a box with the flaps lazing on one another,
squares with curved souls
and dark recesses,
lightweight, liftable folds.
Only paper…

And the lifting is a soundless opera
extolling the seven stages of indecision—
temptation/guilt/negotiation/guilt/resolve/renegotiation/squinting.

The folds peel
and the light advances like an army
following orders without flinching,
rolls in like an ocean obeying
the laws of water in dry places.
And the darkness, like a vampire’s cape,
like Peter Pan’s shadow grown up,
abandons the folds as they surrender,
fainting, hanging like laundry.

And there it is,
small for the box,
the dark, bittersweet
chocolate of truth.

 

 


First published in Coachella Review.

While Jean Doesn’t Write

While Jean doesn’t write,
seditious phrases make their escape
to parallel dimensions where
mothman aliens hunt and gather them,
eat them silently and then
look through at us knowingly.
This phenomenon is entirely
Jean’s fault.

While Jean doesn’t write,
17 wars that we know of continue
like a second day of rain,
race relations in America harden into
pre-1970’s pessimism
and 2/3 of her neighbors fail to recycle.
Indeed, for every day that
Jean doesn’t write,
another Republican actor runs
for office.

While Jean doesn’t write,
her lifelong friends don’t change.
Her adult children do what they will.

 


First published in  Five:2:One Magazine.