Starting Hands, #221

Like a couple you looked at me,
we pair of twos who loved like
no one has ever loved,
who took these two eyes,
these two ears, and opened
them to the world, to the sounds
of crickets eating the night.
Like a crooked swan
you looked at me and begged
me to add up, spent your days
trying to determine if I were
prime rib or real estate,
though you never touched me.
Like a lying twin, an evil
doppelgänger, the projection
of both sides of myself,
with myself, everywhere.

In whatever suit you put me
I am nothing more than
a standup butt, half
on, infinity and ready
to be forbidden. When two
get bored they will invite
me and ask if I could,
if I would add some spice.
But I do not add spice
as well as complication.
While two are equal
on top and bottom,
with three there is one
left out, or one favored
or one who feels things
were better with only two.

Paired or off. We are off
to vacation, we two couples
who are hoping that stealing
some time together will
bring us closer, will not
lead to an awkward trading
of names and faces, will not
bring about a change in mood
or a loss of connection. It’s
the over pair we fear
and so we go on pushing
pots, making small talk
and dinner, sitting out
by the pool and the pines,
lazing around a nude beach
with no cards left to play.

What awkward betrayals,
what odd shapes, a fat man
in a top hat, an unfair fight,
sure bastion for alliance
and betrayal, my nuclear
family ready to explode.
The witches who meet
to discuss the unclipping
of the wings of evil
from the body side of death
and the devil, know on some
very basic level that the end
will be felt, not in triple sixes
but in the firm grasp
of hands of fingers, sprouting
like an evolution.

What dogs can sic,
which dogs leave, their
tales left behind with much
still to be asked. The sick
one in the waiting room
coughing like a sax
player with contaminated
reeds, like sex with
a popular and touched
too often, all sinister
she-demon, stocked
by the stacks
in the library across
from the river Stix.
It’s sick really, to still
need sex to relax.

Off the edge of the cliff
they have walked out upon,
the Acapulco divers
look over and must press
on, with a trust in the cycles
of gravity and gravitas
buried in their heads,
as they head downward
into the sharp rocks
of an empty chasm,
into the blood gushing
cuts of dangerous stone,
and know that the air
below will be filled
with a water, now
nothing but invisible.

One hates to admit it,
but what is great about
knowing that forever
is forever is the knowledge
that whatever one does
to tweak the mix, poke
the pot is nothing
more than trading seeds
with those who built
the farm. Comfort found
in our own inept bungling,
our silly flapping wings,
seeds that clink in dirt
falling to the ground
like old dandelions
and razor blades.

A fish hook to the eye
can blind the sharpest
of sharks and leave him
with nothing much left
but the chum hung
from his bottom lip. Two,
and one could be lead
to believe a nearly
unstoppable armor
surrounds the body
like plates of steel,
only to discover later
that the plates were
nothing more than a ruse
of flesh, penetrated
easily and easily left.

The roll of the drums
and tap of the thumbs,
the beat that makes feet
lift up and land back down,
the thunder of wonder
when seeing the meaning
of great unstoppable pairs,
a bat and a ball, Laurel
and Hardy, opera glasses,
the sexual innuendo
of an all too celibate
couple. Time will tell,
but concept one is that
the relationship is over
as soon as the sex stops,
as soon as we sleep alone.

Someone in the last row
has to be the class clown,
someone must take the cap
and gown off the mantel of
the coat rack, take it down,
place it on their chrome dome,
fill the open seat and make
the other children shoot milk
out their nose. No one knows
why this must be… why a class
without a clown with no class
doesn’t work, whether it has
to do with ancient archetypes
or how the brain processes
information. We only know
what must be done to learn.

Ladies, refined and rounded
off in all the right places, deft
in their abilities to make smoke
from a cigarette taste as sweet
as the nectar flowing from pores
at their feet, the perfect sense
of following them into oblivion
and never coming out alive
on the other side. What harm
comes in believing in a woman
who has never hurt anyone,
would never hurt anyone?
What foolish notions waft
around our heads, infiltrate
our reasoned thinking, leave
us with nothing in the end.

My friends, my father, the men
in my life who have carried
me here to face the face
in the mirror. Big strong brawny
men with their sleeves rolled
and the arc of a muscle
pushing against the fabric.
Our belief in the male ethic
is enough to force our hand
into international politics
of the kind that leaves people
angry and beaten, held down
and without a clear out.
Weakness is letting others
decide your fate or theirs.
Strength breeds contempt.

My God. My God. What a fool
I have been to ride along with
those who would have me
believe anything, be it men
or women, sport or profit,
the beauty of laughter comes
even close, the unbridled bliss
one can feel in the arms
of a God. What terrorism
has been brought on me
that I would give myself
over to the forces around me
who claim to know something
of hope or anger. The fury
and release I feel is enough
to leave me, even dead, in peace.



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

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