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tom walks to work
and i bike here
we keep track of the rain
the snow, the cold
because we’re in it
we feel the scorching heat
our colleagues who drive in
live in a dream world
did i do it well?
not material
just doing it is what matters
that’s how i explained it
when they locked me up
pulling the plug on a covid stroke patient
his brother MUST be in the room
"i gotta be there – i GOTTA be there"
he insists on the phone
and even though it’s perilous to be in the room--
when the breathing tube comes out
the patient will be coughing covid in all corners--
the hospital protocol says it’s a-ok
the man can by all means inhale his brothers’s deadly breath
at 4 pm, the anointed time, he’s not there
we call – "are you coming?"
he’s dead drunk and not going anywhere
the patient’s fiancé wants to ZOOM in for the end
we set up a laptop at the foot of the bed
aim it at the poor fellow
and as i pull the tube to send him on his way
there’s SCREECHING from the computer
what the hell are we listening to?
is that martin lawrence and a piercing laugh track?
she’s got her tv BLASTING some old situation comedy
to usher her man into eternity
just had a conversation
with our cafeteria worker/union organizer
he’s on fire in his 5 kilowatt way
someone took down his flyer
at the hospital starbucks
"it’s capitalism," he fumed
as he gave me my biscuit and gravy
and a LOT of bacon
since i’m a fellow traveler
there’s one murderous tree
putting itself in front of every car
it’s a serial killer
there’s one crippled kid in the ICU
he’s in every bed
one set of frantic parents pacing every hall
standing shellshocked in each room

it’s a neat metaphor
the single kid and singular set of parents
when there’s zillions of each
but i’d watch out for that son-of-sam tree
on the day i reached enlightenment
i wrapped myself in blankets
for a smudged moon
ferried a snare drum and trumpet
on a bicycle of varese
annointed all nymphs worthy of me
and told the nurse with the ****** rings
i was ready to polish her brass
i slaughtered the innocent
loosened the bowels of intellect
and figured it the **** out
america is living in two eras simultaneously
to the white nationalists, their desperate crises are current
the latest news-- they MUST storm the capitol
to the educated, this is history
fascists?  nazis?  
a rerun, hard to take seriously
leaving them defenseless
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