God, tapering off of anti-depressants
Proclamations from the hermitage
became fewer and still more desperate
as he sequestered himself from even
the slightest affirmation or critique.
Alone at his worktable, nearly empty
bottle of rye at his feet, he doesn’t
even scribble solutions anymore,
thinking, thus it began, and thus
will it end. From nothing to nothing
again. Freed of the guilt of creation,
he slowly, hesitantly lays his head
in hand, sighing. The telephone rings.
photo image by Stacey Warde
In June there was a shot—
The screen door banged open
and the race began.
All summer we were in and out
until running was a ceremony
in which we ran back and forth
across the years,
the screen door waving goodbye.
Running, you think:
“We have all summer,
and even a day can seem long.”
Some days summer lasts forever.
Mine banged open and closed.
We were so in love we couldn’t sleep,
so we got up and went walking in the
severe quiet of the pre-dawn cool, warm
morning, as Paul Weller would have it.
Hand in hand or not, we walked until
we had vanquished our new section
of town. It was ours now because we
were living together, by virtue of my
never leaving. We stopped for a 6am drink
at the 6am bar. The self-proclaimed best
omelet maker in town was there, dosing
himself with gin before the breakfast shift,
some others preparing for work, a couple
of drinkers beginning their long day of self-
sedation. We were the only couple in love,
smugly & newly & in need of this incipient
morning’s cocktail to quell the jitters of
ecstasy & moment. We had our drink
and walked slowly home into the triumphal
sunrise. I remember nothing of the day.
Out in the pasture
today i saw
the noted birds
the wire clefs, a
lilting, rhythmic, transporting,
into wider spheres,
black flashes of wing
against the deep blue
their song drifting
summer yellow grasses.
Apricots are suede loafers, and
black plums are cordovan weejuns,
both of which are indications that
Summer, however foggy it may be
in this tiny beach town, is upon us.
The tourists, in their brightly colored
shorts and aggressive t-shirts
advertising everything they own
and everywhere they’ve been,
descend to the kelp-strewn beach
and set up their tents, their umbrellas,
and their coolers filled with light beer
and candy flavored malt liquor. The
locals grumblingly take the tourists’
money. It is a grudging annual
symbiosis, but the apricots are
delicious, and my suede loafers are
safe from the flip flop wearing hoards.
the mindful are not so
tons of dharma
tons of karma
oblivious to the moment
that arrives suddenly
young women sit
at a table across
from each other, drinking coffee,
into one another’s faces.
with goon smiles, they
talk of men
and dating and god’s
how, in the midst
of all the confusions,
despite all the wrong choices,
god still loves us. their
earnest desire to please
god, to check on each
other through probing
questions — “how are you,
really?” — to pray
through their young-woman
hardships fills the coffee shop
like coffee beans
a hard floor.