Friday, September 11, 2009

Of a Certain Sort of Pressure

My bladder throbs.
It throbs, bellows, burns,
groaning whispers. Whispers

"Ssss. Ssss."

Three cups of green tea, sloshing
bladder walls.

But there you sit, winking hair
and curly eyes. So damn engaging.
Mid-story, you make me laugh
and we are at a crisis.
Now or never or puddle.

I stand to navigate little
round tables. Gravity grasps
at liquid weight. Past the first
door, into the next, on the left.

I'm inside. Is this right?
Pinkish walls. Photograph of a
child tongue-catching rain drops--

Ah, I see the raised toilet seat.

I stand relieved at the raised toilet


There he lays, the gurney-bed,
head bowed down, weighted,
like a parched flower
creasing over a vase brim;
or perhaps as a piece of over-
ripe fruit--heavy, soft, pulling
inevitably downwards on
its stem.

He lays. He lays content
as compost. His heart is strong,
they say, Its beat a boom.
His mind is mush, however.

They feel betrayed.

The strong heart, the dull brain,
still carry on a conversation,
while sons and daughter and
hand-wrung mother sit silent,
in hard, plastic chairs.

There he lays, intravenous,
mind drawn deep within,
to some undefined empty space--
a void, devoid, unavoidable--
until the stalk grows brittle,
weary with the strain of rotting
pear. The sigh the snap.
A swirling fall to black.

The Red Duck

The picture shows a red
duck, swimming along an
invisible pond path. Its head
cocks intelligently to the side,
curious of something outside
the frame.

Imagine his thin legs and
webbed feet, kicking franticly
just beneath discordant
aboveward calm.

Trace the wavering V that
builds behind him: an arrowhead
pressed to his back, prodding him
towards some unknown. To what?
Discovery? Redemption?

Unknowable beyond the red
mahogany frame. Forever
undefined. Perpetually indistinct.
But still he kicks.