with a pick axe.
A coil of rope
laid over his shoulder.
This is a rare sight.
He’s standing in a flood of holographic daylight
which doesn’t cast any shadows whatsoever
because somehow in my living room
the light of three majestic stars has intersected,
and I swear we only ever had one star in the area
capable of this
when I was growing up.
a few angels are stretching out in the hallway.
Smoking butts. Touching toes.
Razzing each other.
Laughing with accents I can’t quite place.
They are pointing out the subtle differences
in one another that are known to cause delight.
This one behemoth grabs another one by the shoulder
and pries his right arm back like
he’s about to arm wrestle a silverback
or take the mound against
the greatest hitters of all time
in a 27-inning pitcher’s duel
and he better get the blood flowing.
This is what you do, I gather.
You limber up.
What’s this all about, Hafiz?
What’s with the muscle?
We are going to open up your head, he replied.
And we are going to pour in a much needed bag of sky.
I looked at him
with my tongue balled up in my cheek
like a poorly kept secret
and I shook my head.
No way, Jose.
And if I resist?
We could leave you be
again for a while.
Hafiz. May I remind you
that you and this gang of hellions
have been living
in the apartment next door
for seventeen months now,
banging pots and pans together nonstop.
Hooting like drunkards.
Playing tackle football or something
for all I know.
Not to mention the howling contests
on the back deck
at all hours.
That is leaving me be?
I’ll confess, he said.
We’re all a little weary,
of your reluctance to join us.