There isn’t enough time
all at once,
I suppose I’ll try to
day to day
There isn’t enough time
all at once,
I suppose I’ll try to
day to day
Typewritten words on a crumbled page
There is static as a record starts to turn
Wood grains painted appear, are not
Fingerprint texture of unfinished wood
Warmth is the color of cool tea
Smoke swirl-disperses in a still room
Brick by brick built turns to ruins
Rust as nature takes back space
Unswept leaves and snow in paving
Cracks and crunches underfoot
The temperature gives breathing room
Inhale, I stretch my lungs
The scent of dryer-warmed linens
A pulse presses skin against skin
Repeated notes twice more than thought
One time before became too much
Blowing eyelashes from fingertips
We watch all as it changes
There are sounds of movement and an opening door and then eye contact and then I watch as you press the corners of your mouth together not like a smile but like the beginning of a forced smile –
like the beginning of the forced smile that is a mix of annoyance and this-isn’t-my-choosing on the face of a stranger trying to scoot by a second stranger in the too-narrow space between rows of seats on the way to an airplane restroom in the air somewhere above and between home and another business trip.
I wonder is this is personal, and about the expression on my own face, which I think is one of perplexity or contemplation or perhaps both or neither, but changing now to respond to:
an actual smile. No longer reacting, but recognizing, feeling something more familiar.
Think about the organization of the words into the question and what the position of each word says about that question’s true meaning in addition to the definition of the words themselves, individually, and in combination, and the sounds and tones and intentions, as they are assumed, as they, the words, pass over tongue and teeth to tickle thousands of tiny hairs in two pairs of ears, both the listener’s and the speaker’s. Think about the limitations of answering fully and with confidence or at least without stuttering in real time without one complete moment of pause for clarity in which to not only prepare, but to consider all possible options and pros and cons and potential misinterpretations, of both the listener and the speaker and vice versa and with roles reversed, before making noises in response to the previous noises (now gone and without echo), which were made within similar limitations, but with the upper hand of prior knowledge and punctuation. Think about the increasing density of air over time as a room of any and all volumes is filled to burst by complete/utter silence ticking on, ticking on, and taking on a life all its own. Think about that silence broken, not by answers, right or wrong, but by the friction of physical shifts in the position of a body seeking comfort, and think about the collection of those shifts circulating faster and faster and combining with the silence to form a constant aching drone that further increases the pressure the air in the volume exerts on both bodies, unequally, but reciprocally, each second by each single second by each tick by single tick tick tick tick. Think about the continuously circling hands of an endless clock slowing to an almost-stop. Think about action over inaction and instead of words and in response to the words already spoken. Think about the fight or flight response. Think about the Big Questions – Life and Death – and Their Importance, and the increasing size of This Question and Its Importance in relation to those Big Questions and to Life Itself and Death Itself individually and Individuality and Making a Statement and a Good Impression and erase all that you thought and all you thought you knew. With this fresh slate, in a state of forced calm, turn the table – ‘Can you-’
And it’s repeated.
the palette of colors contained within combined to form
warm and cool dark grey timberwolf
not sun setting but warming
campfire crackling embers wood grains still
burning blackening greying whitening:
ashes single finger painted smooth
drawing lines forming letters spelling names.
cardboard boxes broken down unpacking
here finding homes for these and those here
life expanding to rebuild reorder something
new filling in blanks more than some from none
somewhere outside is overcast blind
but light catches angles through my windows casting shapes
patterns textures colors reds to auburns autumn
crisping crunching giving reason for a pause
a flip a second side music mixed with sirens
rising up from the cobbled streets
rush into the room to grasp a thought a fleeting feeling scribbling trivial stumbles jumbled backspace pauses soon long lost with twiddled thumbs and wires crossed
to try to get it back to remember to rewind to retrace footprints fresh-erased backtrack playback too late too late the song is also already changed
abrupt disrupted loss of focus words tangled in a tightening snare with fingers gripping striking matches running out of fresh white lines
the curtain-drawn background is daytime lit one-sided the other side is darkened light-outlined and fading as breathy sighs extinguish embers
this screen is far too bright
A bottle of white wine.
Sleeping pills lined in rows.
A count of six by seven doses.
For two month’s sweet dreams.
For a final kiss goodbye*
To whomever this finds, I hope it finds and leaves you well, for it wasn’t all that tragic, this life, except in its conclusions. As I see it passing by, I think I’ve learned my lesson.
The first time I died was with the death of my father. Something had happened just prior. I pouted in the grass contemplating, counting cares. I heard a familiar voice call my name and pretended I did not hear. I heard that voice call louder.
It changes in a moment to become what it will always be. A collapse, a glass shatters, shards and splinters, voices, pained, call out in directionless unison, but none to say goodbye. There were too many broken parts to put back together whole.
Abrupt endings, inconclusion, but expected, nonetheless. The death of a parent to a child hit me as it has hit many, I am sure, and many more still to come. The death of a spouse to a parent is something more unique, I thought. I reasoned*. Still think**. Still reasoning***.
You hear ‘suicide,’ and wonder what you’re missing out on. There is something glamorous to a self-made death. It wasn’t that glamorous. It isn’t. She put a blade to both wrists to see what was inside. Only blood, but less and less. She left no note behind. I, too, contained less, reduced to calm through numbness, time paused, waiting for blueshift.
You move forward,
You create the past,
You move on and on and on.
Forget the words never said.
Forget to say them too.
There were days like this, until there were not, until there could never be again. The crowds were silent with their blended noise, and the air grew still and stagnant. Boredom took over and time began again. One day, I left before the sun rose. To Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, and some places in between. To the Times as They exist discretely, ad continuum.
I continued to leave. I left before too much could start. A pair minus one, Jack high, at best. It was right at the start. She said She would follow, but I couldn’t take the lead. I chose Our paths as They diverged. One Day, I said They would cease to. They wouldn’t cross again.
I left, then she left, then another she left as well, then I left her, and her again, having found another. Then a transfer of work. A quit of a job. A period of utter solitude. Another She, until a Child miscarried. A sentence began, met with writer’s block, never to end, repressed without consideration. Couldn’t utter One Day lies.
I am the sum of those who stand next to me. I am a sum of nothing. The loves in my life are lost, else they have been given away, and the little of myself that is left, I give it all with words, as the memory of voices hangs in the air. Seven by six down to one with nothing more to follow. I’ll think about their voices until I hear them clearly. I’ll say my goodbyes, hope for hello agains.
This is the end of new beginnings.