Monday, August 25, 2008


She is one of those people who fall
out of your life too easily.

Laughing, hair fluttering:
declarations over coffee of a philosophy that
doesn't make much sense to you.
She is nostalgic about the eighties.
Like a small child, she gushes over Venus and Mars and Plato and
then rushes out to pick purple flowers
that smell like Kool-Aid. She tries to fill rooms, and then
she is sad when they wilt,
as wildflowers will do.

She talks about love. Loses it again.

Bill collectors looking for her threaten you;
if you don't reveal her location they will do terrible things. They
know who you
They hover in dark cubicle filled offices
scratching mindless doodles on
nicotine stained notepads.
They are ruthless in their pursuit.
They love her in a way.
You tell them, "Of course she has unpaid debt.
What else would you expect?" and they hang up on you.
Call again, breathing silently on the line while you answer hello.

You've always been practical: filling out forms with
well-sharpened number-two pencils,
separating out the colors and whites, using
organic detergent for your wash and wear clothes.
Maybe this is why she is so appealing, her ideas so seductively simple.
You're willing to think about them in spite of yourself.

Then, you don't even realize she's gone until one day
you notice the smallest gap. Your foot slips on a piece of loose
brick in the foundation of things you knew.
A place where there was something--
one little hold-- one little moment-- one little voice.

And suddenly, you crave purple flowers.

This is kind of a character sketch, kind of a poem. Kind of a person I used to work with (a little exaggerated, too). I really needed to write it all of a sudden, and had to fight with babies and husband for the time it has taken to draft. I get a room of my own but only during daycare hours, after all.


ccw said...

I enjoyed reading this.

Anonymous said...

"she is nostalgic about the 80s"

and speaking of debt collectors, this reminds me of a debt collector who calls the residence: "(S)wine, when can I expect payment?"
(S)wine: You can EXPECT payment today. All you want.