In these fractions I seek solace
That infarction is no menace
To my own unknown condition
Though my colleague lies on trollies
As they fill her veins with serum
Hoping vasos are dilated
I’m surrounded by the vision
Such careers are overrated
In my secretary’s costume
I must take on further duties
Try to prop up one more rostrum
And ignore last rites for loot. He’s
Working from his home computer
While I ride the bus to nowhere
In the misty morning chatter
That’s conceived to make me go there
How much more am I allotted?
This existence, mere survival
Will I too go out, garotted
By a heart attack unrivalled?
As my logic fails, convince me;
I’ve decisions that are burning
Every inch would rather lynch me
Than continue painful earning.
Although I rarely explain my scribblings, as I prefer to let the reader interpret them at will, this poem, and the one that follows are written in response to a recent event. The woman with whom I share a desk at my day job suffered a heart attack this week. The events on that occasion and which have followed have caused me to question our place in the universe with perhaps more focused ferocity than usual.
This is the place we come to die
We secretaries, in our rows
Two frozen stiffs, a living lie
Few care to note, and no one knows.
While patient, we sit out our time
In managing capricious men
Whose fruitless whims, though not malign
Wear lines on brows and fray each hem.
One more may chew on dust this hour
No more to block electric space
In diary; a heart lacks power
To beat a path through empty wastes.
We are not dumb, and yet, we wait
Preparing meeting rooms, hot drinks
Awaiting proof; appreciate
A mind, unheeded, soul that shrinks
And though the autopsy infers
What killed her was nobody’s fault
That one can prove, (except for hers)
With such a sedentary vault
Of memories of closet, desk,
A filing cabinet to store
The means of murder – this slow death
Made up of tedium and chore.
I am approaching the threshold of my grief That dismal dawn where words break – Fast over stale feelings Like waves on a rock-ridden shore. This stilled tongue tunes no trills for sorrow, Sigh-chapped lips, no plosive feasts But my ragged pen thirsts For consonants, vowels Forming words, eyes closed, Half-asleep, I drift, Tossed upon the foam As one who drowns for air And breathes only memory.
I caught your eye and looked away.
Your look a thousand words did say.
I dared not gaze upon your face,
Fearing reflected, my disgrace.
Apologies gushed forth from me
But each bounced off your misery
And I to greater depths did sink
In that one tear I saw you blink.
So did I turn away from you
Unfit to bend to kiss your shoe.
For love, I left. For love, your pain.
Some balance, then, in this refrain.
And I no comfort can derive:
I hurt ‘the one’, my soul, my life.
But know that when things fell apart;
T’was not just you, with broken heart.