I can’t work like this,
(I get emotional sometimes
around beings of the most radiant candor–
the ones who tell you like it is
without even moving their lips,
who shatter whole lifetimes
of log-jammed feelings
with a kind of glimmering eye thing
and an emanating peace
that sneaks up on you
like a heated seat,
a peace that feels as though it’s backstopped
by a battalion of compassionate mountain lions
who keep space-time free of scurrying misperceptions
with their lightning reflexes and svelte divinity,
and who happen to like wearing little helmets.)
I can’t work like this, I spat,
squeezing my loving
in between damage control sessions
with the morality inspectors–
(we’re always kowtowing to those ding dongs)–
forked down microwaved dinners,
and twenty minute engagements
every other day
with the minimum physical activity
proven statistically to prolong life,
bouncing on a rubber carpet
while keeping current on last year’s literature.
Also, just today alone:
a broken toilet,
a fork with a bent tine that nearly
decapitated a molar,
no coins for the tolls,
and ice in the wheel well that causes
vibrations at highway speeds
and threatens discomfort
for an hour straight.
There’s a moment for reflection
at 2:46 PM, while the coffee brews,
then a call and a text message fighting for supremacy
in my pants pocket,
and three people with the sum total
communication skills of a tennis racket
trying to establish who fucked up first.
I just can’t work like this.
My words disappeared
into the silence
like replica foam golf balls
into a hurricane.
Hafiz did this glimmering eye thing.
“Well what are you going to do then?”
The mountain lions
in their little helmets
licked their paws
and washed their faces,
producing a beautiful sea of furry mits,
and happy, squinting eyes–
as if I wasn’t hurting over here,
stretched tight as a rhinoceros tendon.
Then we started laughing so hard,
just a little at first, but then with the urgency
of a stomach flu.
Oh my God, we really let it out,
Hafiz and I.
Rolling on the floor,
fighting for oxygen,
begging for relief,
tears streaming down our faces.
My abs were burning hot in no time,
my lungs transformed into futile appendages.
My spleen ascended into
the fifth dimension
and my head burst open
into a tesseract full of white dahlias.
Then one of those mountain lions
hooked a dainty claw into my nose,
a little nonplussed with our ruckus,
and I sobbed with exquisite release.
Everything was much better after that.
Some things just need to get out
any way they can.