Monday, April 4, 2011
The winter's barbed-wire breath has left
my North-facing room, sulking. It rained last night
and left a thin mist, like a caress
on my face. My room faces South.
A pretty girl smiled at me on the street.
Or perhaps she smiled at my dog.
Either way, it was nice.
I asked the wall again, "What is it?"
The wall hasn't answered.
Nor my dog, when I asked him
if he has Buddha nature.
He just stares back at me, puzzled.
The wall is not puzzled. It is just mute.
Without eyes it stares back at me.
It knows what it is, but hasn't told me.
I thought I was close, a little while back
but then I got scared and drew away.
It will tell me, I think, when I'm ready.
Unless the wall doesn't know,
and it's the mist of April rain, or
the pretty girl's smile after all.
The cat knows, I'm sure of it.
But I offended her, and she hid.
I bought tickets for the Ring.
Eighteen hours of Wagner.
Row fourteen, right in the center.
(I made a reservation. Only bad seats left now.)
September's rain will see me there.
The rentacop smiled at my dog.
(This time, it was definitely the dog.)
He makes friends easily.
This winter was too long. Like a guest
who keeps droning on and on
and doesn't see the host looking at his watch,
he arrived in November, and kept telling
the same story again and again.
I will die in April, I think. Perhaps not
just yet, although the doctor said
my blood pressure's a little high.
T.S. Eliot was right.
April has eyes like knives, in a grimy face
streaked with snowmelt
and sparrows practicing scales
in the naked trees.
Only her breath is sweet.
I was born in April, or so I'm told.
My medical records will be kept
in perpetuity. A statistic
for public health officials to put in their models.
The Persians have it right.
The year doesn't end in December.
Nothing happens in December, but sleep.
I will be forty. Old enough to have had one life
but young enough to have another
before this bag of meat I'm in falls apart.
Perhaps I should die this April
and make my birthday a birth day.
But now, I will clean my room.