I was getting the hang
of hanging in the balance;
of twisting in the whirlwind
of Philadelphia, Finland and Baltimore.
Of New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C.,
of Virginia and North Carolina,
of Boston and Madison.
Thank you, 2014, for throwing me
in way over my head, and
wringing me out, completely,
to dry. That was quite the laundry cycle
evolution. I am clean, but worn;
sorted, but not yet compartmentalized;
still strung up on the I-95 clothes line
of push pin locations.
Someone will wear me one day,
and I’ll be their favorite tee–
vintage and classic, fearless
from ever falling out of style.
While I will finally have some
place to hang my
hat heart, and fall
in love with the substance
of whatever pillows are made of.
I may be restless until then, searching
for a feather to stick in my cap. I fear
the real down would be to call it macaroni.
You see, I’m a real Yankee Doodle,
a mighty fine dandelion and
an even better wine. A good book, even.
I suppose I’ll just age a little while longer
on the shelf-life between temporarily
unavailable and completely out of stock.
Black and blue and never read at all,
it feels like a never-ending one-two punch;
the jab-cross of growing up
in the classroom,
in the boardroom,
They are the divorced parents
of my adulthood with truths demanding
to be reconciled. And every time I travel,
I make music across the landscape,
brokering harmonious relations
at my entire expense.
Forgive me Father, for I
was damned to be doing so.
It’s been one hell of an investment.
You know how it goes: the fourth, the fifth–
the minor fall, the major lift.
I’m already singing with every breath.
Because one day I’ll be brand new and untouched.
I suspect hot off the press in 2015.
Limited edition, copyright 1988
with original fingerprints on the pages,
some torn out altogether but mostly
unwritten stories. Strange
how you learn to read, isn’t it?
“You’re a prolific writer,” they’ll say
and offer me coffee, tea or water.
“We had no idea you wrote. Do you do it often?”
I’ll smile and nod and take off
my jacket as I look around the room
without a word. Thinking deeply,
I’ll remember all the times
I’ve come undone, down to my very last thread
that somehow always caught the eye
of the needle that stitched in time.
Finally, I’ll remove my hat
and make myself a home.