Change is our native land,
Our birthright, and yet,
We cling to a past like
An old winter coat,
Threadbare, stained, useless,
Well into summer, to keep,
I suppose, from disappearing
Our so-called future, bright,
Burning, always impending,
Half beautiful, half terrifying,
Like sunlight slowly creeping
Toward our vampire lives.
Who said it was going to be easy?
Don’t push too hard for fidelity
because looking at a photograph
you really have no idea
what it felt like to be standing
just this side of that sky,
feet in the mud, those foot-sized
bricks framing your heart.
Avoid the light in polar places
and try to catch the drip, drip, drip
of reality disappearing just off-camera,
those eyes aged into history
while no one was looking.
When you dip roses, even roses
into the frail cold of liquid nitrogen,
“J’accuse!” they shout.
“M’amuse!” we shout back,
sometimes in anguish, sometimes despair,
as they lie shattered around us.
We are not small
And the universe vast
Just the opposite
In spring, my mother
would send us to the park
to pick linden flowers for tea.
Today, sitting in the shade,
I thought I heard her calling,
but it was only a breeze.
I sit at a table riddled with worm holes,
As manufactured as the chained and slashed
Surface on which I write, burn marks
Sealed in polyurethane gloss, all for
A borrowed twilight, an impermanence
Enshrined for eternity, or as near it
As artifice can come, fuzz-box guitar
Scratching through the conditioned air.
Outside, the latest mercury vapor lamps
Dressed up gassy, the rhythmic flicker
Punctuating the entrance, everywhere
Authenticity for sale, at a premium.
I examine my coffee, dubiously.