if i had god’s ear
i’d ask for a briefcase full of infinite money
and a paddlelike instrument with which
to strike you in the teeth.
that came out wrong.
what i meant to say was
sorry that was not well put.
allow me to try this another way.
there was a story in the times last
wednesday of a man who had his arm
resting out the window of his car
while driving on the highway.
a truck zipped by like a bullet
and rip the man’s arm off from the
shoulder socket and dragged the
appendage a good seven miles down
the highway until they found it
a few hours later
just a tattered mess of flesh and bone
as if a gaggle of wolves had torn it apart
except for the fingers
which were the only things intact.
the team in charge of disposing of the arm
got word over the radio to remove from the
intact hand’s third finger a gold wedding band.
they returned this band to the man and he put
the ring on his right hand and told the doctors
and nurses that the ring was the only thing
in the world he cared about because his wife
had died a year previous and this was all he had
to remember her by because their house had caught
fire and the only reason he’d survived was because
he had a drinking problem and he’d gotten piss drunk
and wandered outside of his house and was peeing
in his neighbor’s rose garden when the house exploded
and flames devoured it almost all at once.
the doctors and nurses were all in tears.
they went home that night and kissed their wives and husbands and children
and they realized how precious life was.
the next day when they came to work they found that in the night
the man had killed himself by creating a noose out of bedsheets and attempting
to hang himself off the balcony of his room, and when that didn’t work
he stabbed himself through the eye and into the brain with a cafeteria fork.
they found him sitting upright with a fork sticking out of his eye socket
like a stainless steel erection.
i’ve forgotten what the point of this story was or if there was a metaphor
or moral or something. in fact i’ve forgotten how it ends
or maybe that was the end.
i guess all i can say is that i miss you.
Written at 8:48 at night, in my office, in Agoura Hills CA.