Monday, October 26, 2009

i have carved my hame in the kitchen table, the "j" drawling out beneath your butter knife.

i have stayed up late
smoking joints with my roommate again.
we lost most thursdays this way,
burning it from its end
until all we have left is a handful of vowels and hours before morning’s light.
“home is where the heart is,”
i say, setting my bourbon on Aubrey’s desk, “and the thing about that is,
how do you find your heart before it’s too late?”
the ice in my glass catches the lamplight
- sending it out in flashes again and again,
laving across his face, and before i reach the end
of my statement, he turns from his computer and rolls his eyes my way.
this is the way
things usually go between us, and it is
the closest i’ve come to home since the end
of my first one: coming home late
one night and fighting with my father again
in the kitchen, the bulb over the stove, under the hood, the only light.
i’ve yet to forget that light,
the way it seemed all soft yellows,
and if i could do it again –
well, it doesn’t really matter, the reality is
that it’s far too late
for that. regardless if you expect or want it, an end is an end.
i have had too many ends
already. watched the snuffing out of too much light.
it feels as if i am arriving a moment late,
that if i had taken another way,
the shortcut i’ve been meaning to try, i’d show up before everyone is
saying goodbye. again.

i will come in at an end.
the truth is,
the light
only ever illuminates the way
that seems to make me late.

i’d like to not be late again
and for my wandering way to end.
aubrey’s light is still on.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

when you have forgotten Sunday: the love story

by Gwendolyn Brooks

—And when you have forgotten the bright bedclothes on a Wednesday and a Saturday,
And most especially when you have forgotten Sunday—
When you have forgotten Sunday halves in bed,
Or me sitting on the front-room radiator in the limping afternoon
Looking off down the long street
To nowhere,
Hugged by my plain old wrapper of no-expectation
And nothing-I-have-to-do and I’m-happy-why?
And if-Monday-never-had-to-come—
When you have forgotten that, I say,
And how you swore, if somebody beeped the bell,
And how my heart played hopscotch if the telephone rang;
And how we finally went in to Sunday dinner,
That is to say, went across the front room floor to the ink-spotted table in the southwest corner
To Sunday dinner, which was always chicken and noodles
Or chicken and rice
And salad and rye bread and tea
And chocolate chip cookies—
I say, when you have forgotten that,
When you have forgotten my little presentiment
That the war would be over before they got to you;
And how we finally undressed and whipped out the light and flowed into bed,
And lay loose-limbed for a moment in the week-end
Bright bedclothes,
Then gently folded into each other—
When you have, I say, forgotten all that,
Then you may tell,
Then I may believe
You have forgotten me well.