Friday, April 28, 2017

Time Is Strange

A moment can be as short as a breath,
or as long as eternity.
― Cornell Woolrich

There’s a gray squirrel twitching
on a picnic table. I’m not sure if he sees me
seeing him, but when a dry leaf lights
beside him, he takes note, takes flight
to the safety of the closest fir. He climbs
straight up, unaware that he is beautiful.
The breeze grabs hold of the leaf and sends it away,
leaving the mossy wooden picnic table empty
and all the way gray.

I woke up the other day headache-free.
Neither shoulder hurt. I was hungry
for oatmeal and toast. The very next day,
I woke up to the sound of horns honking
because the light was green. I could not remember
which way I was supposed to turn.
I stuck my arm out the window and motioned
for everyone to pass. It occurred to me then
that my pickup truck would make an interesting
coffin.

I remember the first time I saw her smile.
I remember the first time she smiled at me.
Those smiles were half a year apart
and those were good first days.
We share a hot tub now where I soak alone
in the evening and watch blue clouds fade
pink against my sweat. I lean back
into steamy heat, hold my breath,
close the lid.

A red-headed woodpecker bangs its way up
the squirrel’s tree. I don’t know what to make of that,
so it flies away. There’s lots of green here, the breeze
is an easy thing. The gray squirrel descends
upside down. Beautiful.
I can’t tell if he sees me seeing.
I just can’t tell.


First appeared THAT Literary Magazine  - 2017

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