I am a zombie during the day.
The tasks laid before me are the pegs I use
to pull myself through time.
There is no purpose to what I do.
There is no reason for doing it.
It is not done with thought or with pleasure.
It is a necessity to keep the mortgage paid and food in the refrigerator.
Outside I am starting to shrivel from lack of life.
Inside I am rotting.
Invisible maggots eat at my veins and flesh-maggots of boredom and self induced paralysis,
Contained by the skin they rumble and squirm unseen
slowly, relentlessly devouring me.
I look for a purpose. I look for a reason to be. I find only emptiness.
I watch the sky for a sign of change.
Clouds move swiftly past my eyes.
Thin straight clouds. Puffy cottony clouds.
Clouds that look like eyes that have been crying all night.
Clouds that look like mist.
Underneath there are glimpses of blue.
In the distance there are hills still red and green and gold with autumn leaves.
But houses are swallowing them up. Green lawns. Beige aluminum siding. Perfectly shaped trees.
I listen for the sound of change on the wind, but there is only empty, hollow wailing.
Grayness is a mist over everyday.
All colors are shaded, less brilliant.
The air has no odor.
The birds sing as if on cue.
It’s as if a protective dome was already over us
and everything is already artificial.
Is that a lemon or an illusion of a lemon?
Is that a piece of chicken or a memory of a piece of chicken?
My eyes slide sideways from person to person
to see if anyone else is thinking these thoughts,
but their faces betray nothing unusual.
Only the grayness is real.
I try to grab it, but it eludes my touch.
My nerve endings wave in the air-
thin, pale pink tentacles
waiting to catch the slightest scent
but nothing passes by.
The absence of the hint of change is frightening.
It is also the absence of hope.
Silence rings like a death knoll.
Like the footsteps of a behemoth.
Like a million soldiers marching.
Like a tidal wave crashing over the earth
Nowhere to hide.
No safety. No disguise.
I cannot wear my disguise anyway.
It doesn’t fit.
Whatever mask I wear doesn’t matter,
because I cannot disguise my eyes.
What I know
blazes like neon, squeaking out of the cracks between my closed lids.
My mouth cannot smile at the things said as jokes.
My mouth cannot make small talk.
My mouth can only utter the monosyllables:
“No, no more. Stop. Stop.
Which little country
will be today’s Guernica?
And which will be tomorrows?
Whose children and old people will be laying in the street in shreds ?
Whose fathers and son’s will be turned into killers?
Whose daughters will be raped?
Whose mothers will turn to stone?
Whose lands will be made inhabitable?
Whose water will be polluted?
For centuries. For Centuries. FOR CENTURIES.
What year is this? In what country do I live?
I know, I know it all and yet I do nothing.
If I walk outside the sun shines on me, not knowing I am guilty.
The breeze touches my face gently, not knowing I am guilty.
If it rains on me I go inside.
If it’s cold, I turn up the heat.
If it’s hot, I turn on the air conditioner.
If I’m hungry, or even if I’m not-I eat.
What will it be today?
Spaghetti? Salmon? A sirloin steak?
Or is it breakfast still- a bagel, some oatmeal, pineapple yogurt?
There are no floods here. No tornado’s. We’re too far inland for a hurricane.
This is how I know there is no god.
In the evening the moon sits high above the city trees
with one bright star below and to the left.
What does it mean? What does it mean?
I cannot hear. I cannot smell. I cannot taste.
If I could eat the moon
it would taste cool and sharp.
My tongue would slide along one whole shiny side and then dig sharply in
and scoop out
a tiny,tingly piece
And the cream would
Slide down my throat
like liquid ice
and line my belly with sparkle.
If I could lick the stars
they would taste crisp and sweet.
Their sugary coating would come off on my tongue.
I would leave them sticky and wet
and giggling as I passed by
tickling their sweet star stomachs with my tongue.
If I could hold the ocean in my arms
singing it to sleep with a muses ancient song,
I would cradle it like an infant newly born
and sing my sorrow for its injuries.
For years and years, I would sing,
voice high and soft and voice low and deep
and voice velvet with sorrow and voice silvery with light.
Rocking gently back and forth dipping my fingers
in the water of its mouth,
stroking its limbs and singing.
If I could find comfort in this world,
I would let the air undress me
and caress the soft flesh of inner arms.
I would let it whisper in my hair, breathe in my neck,
flutter around my lips like a million butterflies.
I would stand perfectly still on the top of an empty hill
arms outstretched and let it flow and swirl and stream
and glide under, around through me.
Then exhausted, I would lay down in the grass and sleep.