Another day I’ve wasted,
though the sky has threatened rain
and cooled the afternoon
so that my sitting here, at least,
is somewhat bearable, a breeze to cool my neck.
Earlier, I was thinking I should choose
a couple of words
to serve as poles of my existence—
a dialectic, some would say—
and the tension generated between the words
might serve as my milieu,
a problem requiring a resolution.
Obsession, for instance, on one hand,
and obscurity on the other,
how such an arrangement might benefit the world
I cannot rightly say.
my mortgage will be paid in full,
which all along I’ve likened to a forest
at which I chopped with my machete,
cursing gnats, mosquitoes, and the unrelenting stifling humidity
in an effort to find a meadow
—ox-eyes and daisies and jasmine and lavender—
and to lie there on my back
staring at the bluest sky
in recorded history.
I’ve sat here
counting all the trees whose trunks
succumbed to creeping ivy,
and so far the count is ten.
Yesterday, sitting behind an SUV,
I read “MAKINIT,”
which is car-tag for
“I’m holding my own
though I’ve given up dreams of something more”
and so the driver
wants to share in angst-ridden solidarity
despite the cost of fuel
and ludicrous size of her behemoth
which she can barely squeeze into a parking space
or else she means “I’m raking it in in bucketfuls
so get the hell out of my way,”
which is short for
“in your face, loser.”
And I can’t stop thinking of the sleeping homeless woman
out for a good time
rolled into the river.
Neither jumped in once he realized
she couldn’t swim,
or absentee fathers,
too many video games, too much high fructose corn syrup,
too little exercise,
whatever explanation does the trick.
Even so, the woman’s body is being searched for now—
hundreds of man-hours, boats, divers, sonar—
when only a week ago
she mostly didn’t exist.
What anything has to do
with anything else
gets harder and harder to piece together,
or maybe I’ve grown exhausted, or jaded,
the logic of cause and effect no longer works,
or never worked.
I hope it finally rains and rains and rains tonight,
an answer to no one’s prayer or forecast,
something so torrential and scalding
that when we wake
not even the poets can make a metaphor of it,
for nothing will have changed
and no one be aware
the swallowing waves have come for us.