THIS IS A POEM ABOUT CLAIRVOYANTS AND PILLS AND PRAYING TO THE COSMOS 9.11.17

9.11.17

“Want me to predict your future?”

Some party on the Westside,

a rooftop, stringed lights

suffocating the stars, booze

and silk shirts, a band somewhere

playing the same three chords

out of a used orange amplifier.

This was the year of party tricks.

I’d convinced these sorry fools

that I hail from a family of clairvoyants

and that my mother was hired by

the United States military in the sixties

to read the minds of communists and spies.

“You can predict my future,” this woman said.

She was ten thousand times more attractive than me

and so far out of my league it pained me

to share the earth with her.

I said: “Don’t you have a child?”

“A baby girl,” she said. “Just turned two.”

“One day,” I said. “A few years from now,

you will be standing in a bedroom, looking

at accumulated dust atop a dresser, and the room

will smell stale and be sorrowful with sunshine,

and the dust will kiss your fingers like a widow.”

“What room?” she said. “Whose room?”

“Your daughter’s room. She will be dead, having

suffocated in swimming pool, and it will have been

your fault, and you will be in the process of

breaking

yourself,

first from the inside,

and then the rest of you,

shattering your being like anvil to glass.”

She slapped me in the face. How? she kept

asking. How can you say something like that?

How can you be so cruel?

She threatened to throw me off the building

and then left.

Years and years later, she called.

“Found your number through a friend,” she said.

“I’m standing in that room and you were right. Not about

how she died, but anyway, you were right. She was taken

from me and now I’m here in this room

and you were right.”

Then she said: “What do I do?”

I told her to take things slow. Start off

with soft drugs, things your body can absorb

without trouble.

Leave the pills for last.

Drink until it feels better,

inhale things, anything,

if you don’t have marijuana

put oregano and tea leaves

into a pipe and smoke it and close your eyes

and convince yourself that all the people you’ve

ever loved have never existed.

Convince yourself

that life is a circus meant for the brave,

and that by accepting your pain

you are one of them.

Then go to the pills.

Take them, enjoy them.

Travel someplace you’ve always wanted to go

and fall asleep

and dream

and pray each night to the cosmos

that you will not wake up.


Written at 10:44 at night, in my office, in Agoura Hills CA.

 

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