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The lack

After I nearly drowned
(how the ocean colors scarred me—
desperate gradations of blues, greens
and greys beneath a relentless undulation
of waves that angrily pull me down)
Dad said “Don’t worry, I’ll watch you
if you want to go in again”

We descend from cultural vitality
to complete barbarity like some obscure,
obdurate viciousness in the back of our heads
S broke up with me soon after
my car broke down while we, her two kids
and my daughter, vacationed together at Montauk
We wanted to be but weren’t like-minded

“You don’t grieve when you think
hard about mathematical equations
You’re in a different world,
cushioned from the stupidity,
the arbitrariness of this one”
S has a new job doing publicity for,
and managing a palliative care facility

at a local hospital
She’s learned just what to say—
These places provide relief
if not much satisfaction
Our distinctly private lives
are a wily sprint, a circular rift
where because of some odd

neurological deficit memory
disappears into a constant present,
where we return again and again
in an ever narrowing circle
“Yours is a lyrical mind,” my professor told me,
“not philosophical or particularly logical,
neither inaccurate or true”

The great artist drew because he could
the hopeless infatuation at the center
of this life—the art that transports
the earthly, the mundane,
the physical and the corrupt,
into a kind of drug that makes
us hanker after infinity

You my love, my tenderness—
you’re like a trickster who shows me
idealized flashes of truth,
as though you know how to give me
exactly what I want,
both physically and subtly
because a woman like you

made me strong enough
to face the sun and because
pressure becomes pleasure
Pressure is the lack of her,
the edge of her—
and that special beauty of hers
evolves on this earth just for us

 

 

-January 6, 2018-