Be watchful. There. Where the rivers meet. Release the caged wolverine, the scorpions & hooded cobras. Time is your mistress. Bring her a hot sweet-roll & coffee. Kiss her on both cheeks & remind her of your love. Beware the man who rides the whirlwind, he who bridles the stallion in the yard. Collect his fractured dreams. Order his sentries to the four gates. Unbolt the basement door before the moon rises & the bats are free. This is your cue to exit. Remember your keys & water for the road. Before it’s too late, forget the lost briefcase, the maps & ironed shirts. Once you’re in the wind, repeat the lessons learned & actions taken. The mystery left to solve is the one you carry in your black pouch. There will be a signpost & an owl to guide you. Those of us who have gone before salute you. Our praise is not enough. You must take back what was misplaced. As the sun rises so shall you. Bend to your task. What lies behind you is not our question or our concern. Where the rivers meet, under the Banyan Tree, under the rock, you’ll find the box & all you will need of revelations. Here, at the edge, the scent of lilac & sage. Take a deep breath. Reach up. Step out & open your arms.
It’s no longer an exercise in torture. That ended years ago.
The pain of incarceration is far subtler:
days & nights spent sifting through soiled linen, he wanders
the compound like a hapless joke
anticipating applause that will never come.
I’ve learned to ignore
his yearning for Bourbon before noon,
his trembling at the mirror as his beard whitens & his thinning
Coloring his nights,
the replay of Janine’s suicide, her blood soaking through
their newly installed Berber carpet,
her dream of a new home blown away by her own hand & his
Smith & Wesson ‘38 Mag.
As the years have tumbled by what might be has morphed to
what might have been fueled by the image
of the hobbled horse awaiting the lion’s leap.
Horny but fearful of impotence
he surfs the web for porn,
masturbates before he dozes-off, accomplishes
as little as possible.
A wet afternoon recalls the image of a small boy riding his bicycle with wet newspapers
to deliver to a home where they’re soon trashed &
in the next frame on another wet afternoon he’s driving a grocer’s truck & the load is lettuce &
roast beef & we find him
in bed with a girl who is wet & knows more than he about wet afternoons & rolls over to show
him how &
a winter goes by & another & in a thunderstorm he’s sweating under a canoe in Wisconsin when
Diane offers her hand & her wet mouth &
it’s ten years later & he & Julia are driving through mist to the mountain & the rainbow that is
their final run at hope &
today, on this wet afternoon, he’s no longer a kid & shuffles his collection of photos to find the
one of her under the umbrella &
how wet she could be on any day or night when the fire crackled & Noche, the cat, curled on
their hearth & . . . & it ends here
with an empty bottle & a loaded gun & when the rain comes again it will just be rain & no place