Energetic Exchanges

I wear all black with saddle leather boots, for work.

Straightened hair business.

As I walk, I unfurl my energetic wings.

My mantle.

Cold steel blades slide out through my shoulder blades.

Clinking.

I shake them. Loosening.

They respond when I dress this way.

I take care to align each blade so they will fold away properly.

Inappropriate for the task at hand.

I call forth the other side.

gossamer feathers.

Carefully unfurling.

One flies a’loose, fluttering into the breeze like a shining bit of a spider’s web.

The feathers still smell of you from last night.

From when you came to my mind with your pain clear in your

energetic, non-corporeal eyes.

Come in: I told you silently.

You stepped behind my back.

Squared with my shoulder blades.

Your pain began pouring out.

I collected you in my steely wings. Making a box.

A safe place. An unobservable vacuum within which you may thrash and wail.

I dropped down my feather mantle for you.

Draping the steely interior in celestial down.

Those who would prey upon your moment of weakness

slay themselves upon my well-honed metallic feather-blades, trying to break in.

Ships, at night, on a rocky coast with no lighthouse.

With each slam of your energetic body against the walls of my wings, you felt nothing but goose down envelope you.

I took great care to ensure this.

You fell asleep inside. I opened the space, covered you, cupped your hipbone, and slept aside you.

35 going on 77

A sawtooth comb for newly brittle hair.

Almost raking the wet curls.

A mind sulking over some lost piece of life, perhaps?

Everything is easier under the cover of my clouds and stars, dear,

including your lucid waking and dreaming.

I take the long way home.

I pause.

From outside the pub, I listen to the band play.

I consider going inside.

I see someone eyeball me and motion to an empty seat.

I smile and shake my head.

He cannot take the place of the one on my mind tonight.

I do not seek distraction.

I will enjoy my own smouldering.

A game of patience.

A study in control.

A tyre pyre burning.

I pass a man followed by a woman.

He has his hand extended behind him.

Fingers shifting in an effort to convince her to hold his hand.

I wonder why she didn’t take it into hers.

68 Coffeecake/86 Crab. tuesday

If you comment: it’s not exactly rocket science, you sound like you think you are a rocket scientist.

The silver couple arrives. She forgets my name but gives me a new one each day. Curly Sue. Dimples.

Today, I am Goldilocks.

She asks the bartender my name when she thinks I cannot hear. She suggests I read the poem Casey at the Bat. Hum, huh.

The village beach preservation busy body society has two tables held for them. One for the men and one for the women. Twelve seats total. Only three women come. They talk the politics of healthcare and about the addicts in their lives.

Our speakers play almost decent, easy listening blues. If you can imagine such a thing. Almost-Stevie Ray Vaughan comes on.

Nearly-Suite: Judy Blue Eyes plays.

We are slow enough that I actually noticemusic is playing.

And, time moves slowly now.

The reservation for six at noon became 4 at fifteen ’til

.All named Pat.

“You are pulling my leg, right?”

“No! It’s Pat’s Day. Okay, now I am kidding you about that. We are all named Pat.”

He and the other Pat (only two have arrived) laugh uproariously.

Mike comes by to make a reservation.

He shows me his Book of Answers.

“My wife found this in 2000. Ask a question and flip to any page.”

He carries a green street sign in a plastic sleeve under his left arm, hugged against his ribs.

He adds:”You don’t have to tell me the question.”

I silently ask the question on my mind.

Tolle Lege.

The page I flip to, it reads:

it is not guaranteed.

That figures: I think.

The thing about which I framed my inquiry is not guaranteable.

He and Tony will return for lunch tomorrow.

A regular left me this.

Monday’s Hostess

It is nearly sunny over Puget sound by eight a.m.

My feet pound pavement. Walking to work.

A simple luxury of the highest order.

A man hugs three people outside the osteria,

one at a time,

ring around the roses style.

Lighting a cigar, he and his bulldog walk away and across the street to

my side of the road.

They precede me by about six feet as we walk.

I inhale deeply the spirals of smoke that follow him.

I feel less sheepish about the plumes of vapor I emit.

He stops to let me pass.

“Don’t want you breathing my fumes.”

“I was enjoying it.”

I was enjoying it, too.

“Showbiz Kids” comes through my cans.

Steely Dan’s Countdown to Ecstasy.

Five minutes later, I arrive at the cozy, little bistro located on Main Street. Two blocks from the water. I see the beach town’s Monday morning is already in full swing. Live and bumping with mostly silverhairs, at this hour.

The exception being a thirty-something couple that I wager is still out from last night.

They drink a lot of water.

(No one likes ice in their water here.)

I hum my hellos to the front of house crew.

I get mumbles back. It is early.

I announce my hellos to the back of house who are singing a song in Spanish that I have never heard. They wave enthusiastically. They have been here three hours longer than front of house.

Their coffee already kicked in.

11:05 a.m.

and, the sun finally asserts itself, breaking free from behind clouds.

This thrills and disappoints.

I am already sweating. The A/C unit has not worked since I started.

I am used to the heat from my former life.

I hear garbled voices rise:

“[Something, something, something] Moroccan immigrants!”

Followed by:

“[Something, something, something] So what?! People look at you funny? Big deal.”

I doubt he knows what that feels like, but

what do I know?

As he leaves, I smile and offer the obligatory: “Thanks for coming in. Have a good day.”
He halts.

“No!” he says, then approaches me.

Stepping in close.

“I had a friend and when people told him to have a good day, he’d say, “Don’t you ever tell me what to do.” “

I laugh and I mean it.

“Well, in that case, I sure hope you have an awful day,” I say with nonchalance.

He looks confused then smiles.

“This one, huh?” he says to no-one, indicating me with a finger.

“Didn’t you learn pointing at people is impolite?”

Catchling calling.

You enter, please. Come to me catchling.

I hear you in the forest, leaves skulking.

I smell you just as before.

A little sleep following a long night jolts my mind into these new, waking dimension/s.

I turn

to look at you.

And, I know that I want.

I want with wanton desires.

This kindled flame did fell me before the universe in prostration to the sensation stirring in me.

I shall know you when I see you again. I see you everywhere.

My surrender to pursue the mastery of your pleasure and discomfort.

Your stoic stillness and

those heavy shoulders.

My reserved disposition conceals me

as I see past veils, into swirling thoughts of desires to devour.

Delectable with shameful kindness.

To tell you:

I want to.

I want, too.

I too want to.

Desire wanting after waiting

demands:

be wrapped in gossamer as I

shake you loose from yourself so you can breathe deeply

before me.

Rider and Driver

I reminded myself of my freedom upon awakening this morning.

Howl easy it is to say that word without meaningful intent.

Free from what?: you may ask.

I don’t know. Myself? Selective desires? What I wanted for other people?

My love of this particular previous mode of life.

I can keep my love and desire anywhere.

Choice and temperance decides if I wilt.

I choose to keep some with you because I can.

<>

Hansel and Gretel breadcrumbed the path of the trail taken.

The coach benched the less adept players.

They were told that they were lucky to make the team at all.

Tuned in ghosts may be friendly, right Casper?

My vocabulary grows.

<>

Giggle. Howl fun it is to smile at what others assumed would wreck you.

Howl I laugh at myself until ’til I cry.

Howl strange it makes me feel efficacious.

Everyone can name a thing that or a person who

they want.

Can they evidence a pursuit of the want?

How long can their arms carry wood during the winter.

How much sun can their skin take from the summer?

Silly beast, did you think an invoice for work done would be presented?

Flatter your-being a little more. But,

do not flatter your-self.

<>

The junko flits about the porch upon which I sit.

I doubt s/he has a plan or a concern for my prescence.

S/he is

hungry enough. To naught,

care to hide.

Stellars’ Jays are more self-aware. They won’t come over.

They just look on from the apposite rooftop.

Both can fly.

I know you can run, but can you lift off?

Why taxi on a runway

when there are

highways and byways?

A hitchhiker and a driver.

There is romance to it,

if you survive.

<>

I know you are a bullet. Don’t make me dodge you.

Shoot to kill, huh.

Catch and release?

I am not endangered so don’t bother.

Shoot to wound?

Crueler and more unusual.

Taxi your own dermis first because your trophies are only relevant to you.

Are you a trophy in anybody else’s eyes?

They will clean you regularly and prominently display you.

They may continue to amass more trophies.

Devaluation of a trophy holder not a trophy.