After The Firebird
Came a fearless thunderstorm with a shattering hail:
Bouncing and cracking on the streets,
Hitting our rusting car, our green canvas awning,
And our galvanized iron roof.
(Different metals touching always seem to be
In some heated, openly contested state of flux.)
We sample a large slice of your last year’s birthday cake,
With the candles still strangely burning.
Thick white butter frosting
And impossible red sugar flowers,
In a blaze, melt into the yellow writing.
Should I once again set aside,
Should I still change my life for you?
Is it not enough that the electric, blue-white light
Has ripped us apart from the half frozen ground?
That this brown dirt and slush are tightly packed
Into the black rubber grooves of our shoes,
Like time compressed, to darkly stain
Our white athletic socks, always, without fail?
(Now I kiss only both of my cats,
And just live with the bits of orange and white fur in my mouth.)
I will sing tonight of another, of a much younger woman.
I will stand with a black coffee and fresh apple pie
In the near darkness, perhaps in the red clay ravine,
Now clogged with blasted, fallen pines.
In an adjoining stream, the smooth gray river rocks,
Each with a thin, embedded white band,
Are finding our collection bags,
To become an ankh figure in the center
Of our new stone wall.
As we spin ever faster inside our long maple spindles,
Can we wear down even the glazed, blue,
Porcelain sockets that we have so lately come to appreciate?
Still together, yet meals apart: I eat all the wrong foods and take all the wrong pills,
Even as you stir a cast iron crucible,
Cooking vegetables and beef over a bed of fanned, glowing charcoal.
Other women advance and retreat,
As if I am a prisoner of myself,
Or of who I am supposed to be.
Are we an incomplete solution
To an unfinished math problem?
Mirrored crescents of a broken circle,
Printed on the finest, scorched graph paper,
I cannot see us drawn as two plotted, adjoining points,
As two surefire winners.
Don W. Boyles
03 June, 2010