Notes from a Traffic Jam
Roadmaster truck creaking up from its netherworld,
swaying past the fizzing lights of a diner,
then sliding like a boxy snake into the unremembered night—
Window glimpse of optimists on a couch,
bending forward in eager profile to toast Fortune
with a pair of giant paper cups—
Oh, sometimes I fear I’ve lost the will to imagine
this comedy, this ugly beauty, this moving-picture world.
On and on it runs, trundling out the bumpkin tale of our species
yet wanting nothing from me: neither eye nor heart,
nor sneer, nor timid idle word. I bide my time in this car
like a beetle trapped on a floating weed, biting my nails,
squinting into the disembodied glare of your lanterns,
but you, you, you are a million dream-years away—
you, closing your India-print curtains against the dark;
you, shifting your haunches, humming your tune.
When I remember to hate myself,
I hate myself for not loving you enough—
you, who never lay a thought upon me.
[forthcoming in Same Old Story (CavanKerry Press, 2014)]