I dropped the kid off at the High School
and it was the second to last day of the year
summer already fired
from the barrel of the gun
and she said, "There goes Bobby M.!"
as a car spun past us
in the opposite direction of the school.
"Where's he going?! Oh yeah . . . seniors don't have to go to school today."
and I said to her, "Damn! Seniors don't have to go to school on a Monday morning! Why do I have to go to work? I'm calling my boss. Should have been a High School Senior instead of a lousy Funeral Director!"
she laughed as she exited my car
kids running around electrified
by the anticipation of summer break
in the air.
The Indian had texted me at 6 in the morning
from somewhere South of Galveston
and it was the same old line
"why is so-in-so mad at me?"
she was a real flesh and bone Indian
with emotions and memories
real cheeks with tears that would run down them
not made of wood at all
and certainly not sitting stationery
in front of a Wyoming tobacco shop
for all eternity to torture.
I smelled the death
as I crossed into the realm
opened the door and stepped timidly
into the other world
even got to punch a time clock for the privilege
wet plastic rubber bodies
that new casket smell
direct cremation on a social security budget
nothing like watching the hands of the clock move
the minutes fall away
will sitting in the cold silence of a mortuary
waiting for the phone to ring
it's the kind of slow madness
that gnaws away at the brain
like an army of termites
directed by the cold scythe of the reaper
biblical locust clouds swarming the sub-conscious
chewing while you sleep awake
waiting for the next desperate soul
to circle the drain
I rechecked my cell phone
the prettiest gal in the prettiest blue dress
who, quite sternly, pointed out
some defects in my ability to maintain
and establish personal relationships
in other words
let the past go dick-hole
summers in the air
and like a good John Mellencamp tune
the melody is one of nostalgia
and mid-western longing
where the highway is ripe to burn rubber
all the signs pointing to anywhere but here
and, by God, that gal in the pretty blue dress
was ready to ride . . .
Damn! If we could all just
take a second to strip off our clothes
step back and take a look
I think the shock
would send us barreling off
into the summer nights
like an angry boar
rooting for better times
foraging for all those golden moments
we will someday
fondly look back upon.
Imagination on ice
in a cold stupor
like all the stiffs in back
slabbed and chained
wearing their mask for the rest of eternity
the true face has flown
and stolen with it
all the story of the life
and only the flesh remains.
I tap my fingers on the desk
from the window I see
sun, movement, figures, trees, birds, mountains, colors, sand,
asphalt, stop signs, flags, people, fixtures, rocks, lizards
and life, yes oh yes, glorious life!
flowing all around
but the hamster still runs the tiny wheel
caged up inside my brain
I am a tamed beast
tapping the glass
looking out at all the spectators
who are looking in.
I have wasted it
like shower water anticipating a naked body
without a BBQ
without a pretty gal
with no fast car
tenor sax blowing against the hot humidity
blood pumping the heart
where are you
stuffed inside a filing cabinet
dressed in a dark suit
at a desk
pushing a coffin
clicking my heels
dusting an urn
wanting . . .