A glass of water beside my bed – right in the spot
where I’m prone to flinging my pillow, directly
beneath my iPhone plugged in to charge like a man
attached to a bungee – unwittingly tethered to death.
I turn to anxiety as a way of warding off bad luck
(as if luck had anything to do with it)
and the worst thing is, it works.
Night after night, catastrophe is avoided
thanks to a nonspecific benevolence
which reduces suffering in idiots. I’m grateful
that this omniscient goodwill sees beyond
the girl too lazy to deal with clutter to someone
absorbed in the task of doing something that matters,
something greater than superficial order.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThe glass of water
has always been there, and I’ve always
ignored it. ‘Fantasy prone,’ they call it.
But my dreams are always good.
The pillow only falls to the floor
when reality seeps in.
Compatibility has less to do with pleasure
than it does being able to tolerate awkwardness
and boredom in each other’s presence
without hostility. That’s why romance
is associated with being young –
no joint pain, shonky guts, drooping jowls or chins
or nuts – it’s easy to love when the physical
is a baseline from which everything else
is up. The inconvenient fact I’ve come to know
in the lull between distractions is the long haul
isn’t fun. But there are other descriptors
with more than one syllable that lie in store for those
who can stick it out – words that go further
to illuminate the human conundrum.
Beyond infatuation lies something sinuous
and nourishing – beneath the field of poppies,
a paddock of mud. That person must be out there
for me, surely. I’m too full of life to give up.
* ‘As she breathed in the spicy scent of the big, bright flowers’ is an excerpt from The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.