This is what I want to say when you ask me.
and there he sits. the old man alone. late in inky
blackness, the light shrunken to a stale pool of
defiant solidity nightbirds mock. he cannot hear
the barrage of inanity; his internal temperature
is too high for that, the war raging behind his
weary skin too fraught with flames and shrapnel,
the screams of the dying thoughts he had no time
to capture. what does it do, you ask. what does it
as if entering the world in this way was a process
mechanical in nature, understandable and concrete.
the dialect one spoken by all, the dialectic a puzzle
worth three hours, a key that fits many doors, a clock
full of sentimentality and beauty whether it functions
or not. as if I had something to give you, wrapped in
the aura of a far-off land or some fleshy mystery.
instead of meaning and purpose we have a misery
both comfortable and complacent in its recurrence,
the agreement made that we would not step out of
our space. a thing unspoken, the better part of an
evil, social wisdom. pull up hard on that strap.
what can I say. pointing to my own efforts does nothing
they are few and silent. would you fail your children, or
someone else’s? remaining silent we know, speaking out
we do not. should you risk it all on the dream of burning
wings, an apartment overlooking the Seine with its boats
a father’s furrowed brows?
how to begin. you’ve already done it. the question itself an
open door your hand upon the frame. some things cannot be
avoided. the story of the man in the cafe is all our stories, the
being and unbeing at once, the metastasized mythos we carry
around like the heart we earned on our way home. it is yours
already, like your name.