“A number 2 all over,”
I tell the lady at Just-A-Cut.
She doesn’t know this will be
My baldness makes cutting
away what is already dead
an act possible to perfect,
its simplicity as beautiful
as the white, porcelain cup,
by the mirror before me,
in which rests
a black, plastic comb.
"The Perfect Walk"
The moon behind me
my dog in front of me
no spider webs brush my face
no toads squish under my shoe
the pond thrums with secret life
a slight chill in the air
keeps the mosquitos
away and my dog and I
can walk for miles
Today I shall make my bedroom
An inner sanctum, a refuge
heat. I shall draw my curtains
across my windows and stifle
the voices in my mind. A good
nap is a luxury, a blessing
not to be wasted. Let the world
spin without for a couple of hours.
When I leave this world, will I count
or the peaceful hours under my covers?
the anxieties needlessly worried over,
Emotions cling to photographs
in the same way a single hair
on the floor gathers dust unto
itself. Photos in boxes, envelopes,
and half-finished albums litter my table top,
a shipwreck of memories washed ashore
by my tidal wave of efforts to find that
one photo, my most perfect memory,
you at the carnival, bathed in
head thrown back, mouth open,
eyes full of delight as the cotton candy
jumps its cardboard cone and takes flight,
aided by a sudden breeze, and lands in your hair.
I know if I can find this picture, I will sleep tonight.
Your photo will be th charm that keeps the night
chained to their trees for another night.
beasts, those twin hounds Anxiety and Regret,
It is said the bee takes inventory of
her stock after that advance scout
of winter, the first frost, strikes.
She caps her combs, she counts her larvae,
she measures the royal jelly, she weighs
her honey, she clears the detritus of
summer from her hive. She seals
her home against the creeping cold,
and with her sisters huddles in a dense
ball of life, constantly churning, moving
from center to periphery, vibrating,
creating warmth to fight the pressing cold.
So shall I on this fourth day,
take stock of my life. From what
people and books have I gathered
nectar, and how have a shared
the honey I have made. Have I
pollinated minds with new ideas?
Have I filled the honeycomb of
my life with supply enough
to nourish those who come after?
When my soul leaves to join
that eternal swarm, the pulsing,
vibrating, ball of life, forever
churning, forever cycling
from center to exterior and
back again, what warmth will
I bring, and what warmth will
I take? The hive of souls
“The Perfect Resting Place”
lieu of speech and opposable thumbs,
has granted- should they reach a
end to their lives- animals the
to choose their final resting places.
shamble slowly down
savannah trails to their graveyards.
dogs die with their master’s hand
on their heads, and cats slip into
to places unknown.
cease their chattering
leafy treetops, and opossums
their death like method actors.
is man given a choice. Our intelligence,
is different from wisdom, keeps
dying in sterile, white rooms, surrounded
tubes, and the sounds of dementia
I am that the day of
deliverance has been revealed
me. My elephant’s graveyard,
I approach, head down, shuffling,
be an old recliner. A book shall
on my lap, my dog shall be at
feet, and I shall look out
window, waiting for that
beating of wings,
approach of the unknown.
it comes, may it find me
forward in anticipation,
to know what comes next.
shall double bag all my pornography
take it to the trash-no one needs to find
I will write letters to loved ones and friends
for and granting forgiveness (they know
they did and they know what I did). I will
out my credit cards on Amazon ordering
gifts for those I love.
will teach my dog how to order pizza
Domino’s and leave him plenty of cash.
will make a playlist of my favorite songs on
and listen to them all day. I will smoke a
cigarette while watching the sunset from my porch.
will read Walt Whitman and know that he is