Thursday, April 30, 2015

Poem a day 2015: The last one! 30!

How It Unravels

You come home from a trip to find
the dog's mouth is bleeding and it
won't stop.

A pile of papers grows
like moss from the dining and kitchen tables,

then a cluster of jackets appears as suddenly
as mushrooms after a storm
over the chairs, and piled against the window,
and slung across the dog's kennel.

The cars run out of gas.

That pain in your ass slides down
the back of your leg and around
to grip your knee.

Standing becomes difficult, and walking --
forget about walking,
because your shoes squeeze your fat feet
until your brain feels the need
to explode.

Bacon grease infects the air, smears
the griddle in the middle of the stove,
dots the linoleum around the dog's
bloody kisses.

Somewhere in the house, a cat
calls you -- a loud, plaintive cry
that means he's trapped himself
where you'll never find him.

Now even the words in the books
that line your walls
begin to disintegrate,

and your signature on the check for the cleaning lady
dances into meaningless scribbles,
your eyes swimming in super glue.

Finally, your AARP cards arrive
in a big red and white envelope
and you pull them out to discover
they've gotten your husband's name wrong:

he's now Donald rather than David,
how the hell does that happen,
could it be that your handwriting has gotten

or did you somehow, in a twilight zone
twist of time, a pre-senile fugue state,
write your grandfather's name on the form
four weeks ago

when you decided,
in a moment of geriatric resignation,
a flash of precognition
that revealed, as in a bolt of lightening,
the many ways that time
is already unknitting you,

to abandon any pretense of avoiding 
this fate

and to jump, with the rest,
off the metaphorical Titanic of
middle age in America
into the future's freezing ocean
and be done with it.

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