Editing the Glossary

You never were real
genuinely alive, I mean, an actual breathing,
cussing, jig dancing human being.
You were only an idea,
a notion,
like an ex-husband
early on in the relationship
before the ex-part set in, or maybe like
a superstar who doesn’t fart or scratch
in any of the wrong places at the wrong times.
You existed so character one
had a reason to battle against character two
on the way to someplace else that never existed either.
I’m sorry.
I couldn’t simply turn you into a plot twist.

I had to completely write you out.

Mothers of Heroes

What mother wants
her son as a monument,
the rider of a stallion with
both front legs raised,
displaying a plague
that no one reads anymore?

What mother wants
her daughter as a tweetstorm,

thousands of brisk words
and sentences that beg,
plea, and demand
a freedom that never arrives?

What mother wants
her child resting unmarked,
buried with all the other nameless
in unhallowed ground that eventually
gets used as a parking lot?

What mother wants
to carry that much sadness
and claim that it’s pride, say that honor
can supersede the memory
of baby-fine hair, tiny snores,
and all of those silly giggles?

None of us.
It is simply what we do.

Sitting and Talking with Archimedes

I couldn’t build a bench
for conversation
out of memories’ planks and boulders.
My clothes snagged on exposed, rusty nails.
My muscles bruised and grew purple.
So I stand here, the heel
of my left foot worn so far sideways
that my ankle tips and my eyes
watering incessantly from pollen.
My wanky right foot kicks
at the fulcrum like a soccer ball.
An hour I explain to myself. A full hour
to listen to words I had the chance to hear
when they were said the first time.
An hour. If I can only leverage
this splintered branch
underneath the world.

(Note: Based on the familiar meme:
If you could spend one hour
sitting on this bench
in conversation with someone,
who would it be? )

This City in 100 Words or Less

It isn’t easy to be old
here in this city that worships
wealthy parents and student loans,
especially if you’re too freeform
to ever be tenured or thought of as a scientist.
To be truly appreciated here,
it helps to be
a statue or a plaque
commemorating something else
that is even older.