For the Rays of Modern Living, #103

-for Mark Stambush

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp I am
waiting for all the cell phones
to stop ringing, for meetings
with clients to morph into
long slow days wasted sitting
in the old brown rocking chair
on the back porch conjuring
up all the shapes and faces
one can picture in the bark
and branches of every tree
hanging out in the forest.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp I am
waiting for the mailman
to give up on our mailbox,
stop stuffing promotional
flyers and coupons, letters
addressed to dear resident,
credit card offers and trips
to the bahamas, if
only we would fill out
and return the enclosed form.
When I go I won’t return.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp I am
waiting for credit card debts
to slow their ascent, make camp
at the top of the mountain
and break camp in the morning,
to begin their rapid fall
down the other side until
they reach the bottom, head off
into another couples
checkbook. We will be camping
on cash for that long weekend.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp I am
done dealing with people who
are waiting for someone else
to come along and invent
a way for them to sit at home
and solve their self-made puzzles,
who see having to fix it
themselves as an annoyance,
an insult, not my problem.
I’m waiting for someone else
to invent a new person.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp I am
waiting for the dirty clothes
to cease their aborted march
around the apartment, lying
dead in baskets and sofas,
shot in the hallway between
the front door and the bedroom,
piles of empty bodies
in corners, all indecent,
slaughtered remnants of the day,
all stacked up for the rapture.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp I am
waiting for the cathedral
bells to stop their long drawn out
peel, a low rumbling
that rocks my meditative
body, the clapper rapping
against the cold metallic
insides of my heart, chamber
over chamber vibrating
unsettled blood out to each
capillary and each cell.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp I am
waiting for my mom to call,
for my father to come back,
for my children to be born
so I can get them off to
college and be done with it,
have my life back, go fishing
in the pond across the street
where electricity mutes
and cell phones won’t work, where I
am simply unreachable.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp I am
waiting for the price of gas
to drop, for the check engine
light to stop flashing, for all
the light bulbs to burn themselves
out, for the indicator
lights on the electronics
stuffed in my apartment to
go solid and then go dead.
I am waiting with all my
heart for my body to die.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp I am
waiting for the rays of modern
living to wash off, for the
voices in my head to be
exhausted by their own sound.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp I am
waiting for the to-do-lists
to be done, my commitments
to be fulfilled, my fragile
ties to this world to be snapped.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp I am
waiting in line for a time
when I’ll rest on the back porch,
cold beer in my hand, waiting
for nothing much to happen.

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A day is not done, until it's filled with words.

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