In a half-round room, the air cooler thunders and drones.
Someone snores gently, someone else shifts restlessly, now and then.
The day was hot until a downpour came.
The roof is still standing.
This is a poem about an uncomfortable, unremarkable day.
A day of love, a small child.
Another day of married truce.
A day of distant familiarity, distant warmth, fading and waning,
trembling hands reaching
into the closet for the bandaids.
A day of impatience
mostly set aside,
leaving room for hope
with its needles
hour after hour,
So then hope is set aside,
The needles continue anyway, though dulled.
One does not sleep, as usual.
The little child sighs, and shifts; sheets rustle.
The drone intones.
I remember the mirror and color that once kept me company; I can see it there outlined in the dark.
Through the window, a line of lights in nearby windows.
There are those awake in the light, and those like me, awake in the dark.
All is well, well enough, all will be well.
All is distressed, rough heart, looking up at the dark,
the great absence, which has
generously filled this leaky, dented cup
time and time again--from time to time.
I have a path, again, at last.
My youth leaks away.
I drink from the cup of love--it keeps me awake--
and it isn't long before my mouth
finds something missing.
So I write a rough poem.
There was a man, my patron saint--
I twanged the strings and we both cringed but then
I couldn't unstrike the sound--
so we kept cringing--well.
Fortunately that's far away now,
and the echoes have faded.
Who I am, who I pretend to be, who I think of myself as, how people seem to see me--these flash in and out,
like card tricks almost. My self-belief is probably
the least real of them all, though made up of truth.
The tide ebbs now (yet still pregnant with current) but
only one thing has changed: I no longer despair.
The earth's call to my body now is natural.
And now the time for thought has ended,
taken away by the little child.