My Own Acquaintance
used to smoke, crave it, enjoy it.
it’s something people do
are ambivalent about life,
sure if they want to live or die.
used to drink a lot.
was the high and low of my day.
it’s what people do who are in pain.
pain has taken on a life of its own
needs to be fed and cared for
a lost soul they’ve brought home from the bar.
used to feel sad and needed that sadness
have something to escape from
because without it I’d be left alone
experiencing an uncomfortable silence
bed, prolonging the moments
before pushing back the covers.
voice on NPR, a reporter in Afghanistan,
refers to the spring fighting season
he’s announcing the opening
ski season at Mt. Hood Meadows.
brush my teeth, minty fresh, extra whitener.
tolls from suicide bombings.
Toweling off after showering, it’s total US
number that could be the population figure
small city. A city of dead young men and women.
refreshing lather lifts my beard
triple bladed razor shaves my face kissable smooth.
me again why we are there while I am here.
Through the Day
hard is it to get through your day without getting
swearing at the car in front of you for going a
hating someone you really just don’t understand?
hard is it to get through your day
without pulling a knife or chambering a bullet?
hard is it to not thrust that blade or pull that
what does it mean for the rest of us
the people you respect, look up to, idolize,
encourage you to do just that? To thrust, to
squeeze, to kill.
we back to building backyard bomb shelters all over
linger over the Cold War and laugh at the peace
hear songs from the 60s and laugh some more.
thy brother? How can I love someone
can’t get through the day without taking from
which is most precious?
insights are so clear to me today
I accept them as truths.
only a few years ago
would’ve been hesitant
consider them at all.
met my old self on the street
we talked over a meal,
consider him problematic
be concerned for his future.
have no desire to be pals
would walk away after our meal,
relieved to be free of him,
he’d probably feel the same.
addictions would make him uneasy.
sobriety would remind him
the demons nipping at his heels
he would soon have to face.
he’d come up with another reason
avoid that thought.
say to himself,
guy is quiet, that guy is dull,
his impatience to lift his next drink
write me off.