If you have to cry in public,
the sauna at the Y is a good place to do it.
As long as you are quiet, everyone's eyes
Steam clouds vision and the tears drip with sweat to the wet musty floor.
I think about my dad as I take in the thick hot air.
I think about his final moments a decade earlier when in the middle of sleep he just
It was so calm and brief he didn't wake mom.
Was he giving her what he thought she wanted? no debt? a house? funds to support her church and those she would call her grandsons?
I fixate on that last breath
that final thought.
If it was lucid, I suspect it was encouraging and hopeful.
A promise of a rainbow after a storm.
Apollo once had a daughter who was gifted with words. One day she observed the savages to the west and felt pity for them as they did not know the joy of reading or writing. So she taught them, though it was forbidden. When the gods found out, she was banished from Olympus and instead transformed into the very language the savages used. Her name - Ellemenope, is uttered every time they recite their alphabet.
More of a micro-story than a poem, I suppose. I stumbled across the goddess while singing the alphabet with my daughter.
My poem lay
over my desk.
I tried to sculpt it to my will
but it only cut
my flesh -
tried for hours, days, weeks,
slicing myself more, coating it
with my dried blood.
Hordes of flies reveled in my poem.
Disease infested, it only grew
until that came
my dead-bolt door.
Your toad of a poem arrived,
feasted itself on my massive poem
unyielding, even when it grew full.
It wouldn't stop
Exploding, a sickening squirt.
Flies, blood, entrails,
bile, and shards
enveloped me, my house
with a vast loden fog killing
my neighbor's pit bull.
I called you on the phone
said I had a twenty pound sledge.
A twenty pound sledge
and was coming over to thank you.
The room shrinks.
She missed again, the vein dodging the needle.
The body reacts
And ineffective. Cold yet sweaty, those ears sink under water.
My bags unpacked, my threads untied, yet
I am gone.
Nothing remains, and the nothing is tranquil.
A second? An hour?
The cacophony begins, muted
The ears throb and resurface.
Voices touch, hands speak. I taste their worry.
I am back.
I wash in the relief of my return. I’m not ready.
I'm on a medication that requires my blood to be monitored no less than once a month. Since starting this process some five years ago, I have had a few vasovagal episodes like this one.
— The End —