Ankles crossed, pale skin
brushing with knee-high goosebumps
sloughing through the red tape
inspired by touch
groping with words to explain
guttural grips on grievance.
I take a chance
and delete a brash statement
from my mouth
only to find the words
had neutralized before I uttered
Whispered fragments of words
fabled by my lobbyists
these well-meaning tusks
that drop the bag of eggs
and then the giant ball
at my feet
forcing my ankles to unlock
forcing a wrapping of red tape around
my neck, squeezing my throat
until the silence permeates my larynx
and my guttural grip
becomes gasping shouts of desperate pleas
Pleasing the lobbyists
who stand back and admire their handiwork
their chests gleaming with an ‘S’,
their signal scraping the sky
showing how they saved their city,
they wrapped up the monster, defeated the villain
kept the world safe
And I lay on the floor, strangled
puffs of breath leaving my lips
my legs wide open and my eyes closed.
One day it won’t be the first thing you see.
Like the sea that oversaturates the sand
billowing to and fro toward familiarity
foaming at the tips to return to normal
only normal was never the sea.
Like the projector that sticks on the same image
the archaic screen spotted with dust
the flipping of the film in the overexposed light
the frame of your face twitching and epileptic
into my eyes.
Like the stiletto that finds the flaw in the floor and sticks
dethroning the queen who parades into the room
cursing the floor for its audacity to be less than perfect
I remembered ten minutes after I saw you
why we shouldn’t be around each other.
I am your wicked little town.
This silence in the morning
the crisp wind unwrapping my skin
sinks comfortably into the trail
as I begin my race with stroll.
Two or three or ten people later, I have lost my swift
only to regain it again
and soon you come stepping into my frame
my running mate.
Your journey to the end of the trail is done
and back again you come to collect me
for a cooldown of workout
I am founded of mind and character
growing new appendages with which I can stride
fingers that match your skin tone
and bones that remain
Here we step in tune to the time of our insistence
our tandem trail of treat and terror
I am parting with the motion of routine
to beg the pardon of my transformation.
I ache daily for the newness of familiar step
but long for the sleep of mind
the encouragement of unhazing my mind’s fog
to reap the benefits.