Tuesday, June 30, 2009

If the Sun Sets, Then Why Don’t Clouds

Think of this as a child’s
innocent question, when
they’re not thinking of God,
or reproduction, or imagining
an image which drops
out of three o’clock
in the morning dreams,
lies on the bedspread for a moment,
then scuttles onto the floor,
where under-the-bed
monsters spy an easy snack.

It might be a chink
in the armour of a decision
made over cocktails Friday evening,
or Saturday morning evaluation
of thick steaks assembly-line perfect,
under glass, at market,
or the rationale for ignoring
the contents of a mountainous
Saturday afternoon to-do jar.

Perhaps it’s the punch line in
a casual conversation
at the near corner, where
the corner people always argue

(airing life from Adirondack chairs
positioned just inside their two-car
garage, beers at the ready),

for the amusement of walking
dog owners, two dogs pulling
the real world in different
directions, dog barking
as twisted as cohabitating leashes.

More likely, it’s the answer
to a crossword question
Sunday morning, when the paper
arrives, as heavy as
an intercontinental missile –
the kind we were warned about,
were instructed to go
down to the basement before
their arrival, find an exterior wall,
put our heads between upraised knees,
pray perhaps, but more likely
just wait for chance to hit or miss,
for life to keep shining,
or to suddenly set
under a nuclear cloud.

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