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His Middle Class Ways

She uses her arm to push him violently away
Skids from one unreality to another
All that pedaling for quicksilver moments of glide, of grace
She becomes bulimic, alcoholic, an obsessive cutter...

He spends a long year gazing out the window
Wounds abrade his middle class ways
Nearly lost his job because it hurt so bad,
couldn’t pay attention, relax or absorb the pain
A cascade of days mostly the same...
He was someone we all knew, but knew nothing about
He said of his childhood— “My dad never beat me, 
my mom never ran away”
He plays tennis with his dad
They take long, silent, walks together
He plays his flute out of tune 
in his rooms from midnight to dawn
then sleeps until noon...
Frightened people lie— she lies to him all the time
He glides his skiff through ragged, dank water
his failures push and guide from behind
A happy wish died many years ago
With these tight nerves so little is possible
The soft milk locked away beneath several layers of wood,
deceit, rage, “I defy you...I despise you”
Lives stunned with loss
If the stars could weep they’d weep the blood of tears
then awkwardly withdraw and fade
like a dead blank beat up case
She comes from troubles and brings her troubles here
Gauges the movements of crust beneath her feet
They leave the hotel and find themselves
in an old part of the city, where he’s never been
an obscure closed-in part
Her face stretched tight, dry
The self locked away behind blank stares
and sour, dutiful visions of middleclass paradise

-June 20, 2011-