On the Lookout
The two of them went riding off into the Future one day when they ran into a group of old people out looking for roots & when they stopped to see if they could help, all the old people laughed & said they had more experience. One woman said the Future wasn’t even there except for the bad parts, because the Future’s always worse than before & then the old people left, walking slowly, shouting at each other about the weather. The two of them looked at each other for a minute & then they said, let’s go off to the Future again & before they left they made a rule to keep on the lookout for old people.
Except for the running naked through the forest, there’s not a lot I miss.
The feel of his spirit was too old for most people to understand & when he walked by they would look up & say O, the sun went behind a cloud, or, the moon must be full & so he walked for a long time by himself with no one to talk to.
this is a really old map so everything on it has disappeared (unless you can think really old thoughts)
Old Love Songs
We listened as he played the guitar & sang old love songs & then there was a moment we looked at each other & discovered we were much younger than other people might suspect & it was good to know we had that much more time together.
Sometimes I think I’m going to end up all alone in a cold apartment living on cat food from a can but I guess that’s not so bad since I’m a cat after all.
I don’t read the paper & I don’t watch tv & people ask me how I stay up with what’s going on & I tell them breathing seems to help & since I haven’t done serious damage to anyone yet, they usually leave me alone.
My grandmother was big & solid. My grandfather was tall & thin. They looked an unlikely couple. I asked them once how they ended up together. My grandmother said she won him fair & square in an arm-wrestling match. My grandpa just smiled. I let you win, he said.
Some of the stuff I learned early on was useful, she told me, but most of it was obviously meant for someone who was not me.
I’m going to start a novel soon, she said, but not now. I’m too tired to hear myself write, she added
Nothing to Say
He really doesn’t have that much to say, she told me, so don’t get him started.
Often, I write all day long with white ink on white paper, late into the night, until it is all I can do to feel the letters curving to earth from the tip of the pen & then, I fall asleep. Dreaming of running, or maybe driving in a car the color of water & I wake the next day remembering nothing & I gather the stack of paper & a pen of black on the desk in front of me & the words begin to dance over the page like long legged insects across a still lake & the words in white whisper behind & underneath the new day. If there is any secret to this life I live, this is it: the sound of what cannot be seen sings within everything that can. & there is nothing more to it than that.
Not Too Close
I try not to get too close, he said.
From a distance almost everything looks real.
I wish I knew what this means but I wish that about a lot of things so mostly I enjoy not knowing.
Are you here to borrow money or to visit? He used to say
& I’d say it’s me, grandpa & then he’d say o hell,
come on in & visit anyway.
I read once that the
ancient Egyptians had
fifty words for sand
& the Inuit had a
hundred words for snow.
I wish I had
a thousand words
but all that comes
to mind is the way
you move against me
while you sleep
& there are
no words for that.
has always been fascinated by car crashes & train wrecks,
so it’s no real surprise how well he took to relationships
this is the center of the universe at this moment
unless you’re looking in another direction,
or are thinking about something from a long time ago,
in which case it will wait quietly right here until you return
I sometimes wake in the early morning
& listen to the soft breathing
of my children & I think to myself,
this is one thing I will never regret
& I carry that quiet with me all day long.
No More Secret
I will always remember the day
the sun shone dark on your hair
& I forgot where we were
& kissed you lightly
on the nose & suddenly
there was no more secret.