Thursday, April 23, 2020

To Persistent Demands

"Touch me. I like it when I can feel something", she said.
"Let's make noise.
Let us be more than what we hear."

I reached for her with my rough hands
Gentle words, kind deeds,
Served sumptuous meals
For her fluttering eyes,
her clandestine heart
I helped part her masked lips
In search of the brilliant blade of her smile

She made masks of houndstooth
For her friends, neighbors, heroes
She offered me a mask, but I demured

Did I ever actually touch her?
Was I only ever touching myself?

I wield words, my winsome weapon
With panache, humor, disdain
 Silently swooshing solitary shapes 

Her weft was in the making,
Weaving sparse words
Into enigmas, and victory

"I am semi-hard hearted
withholding, and not talkative"
She warned in a lilting speech,
A small red bird, taking off,
Like a witticism unleashed
In a room full of recyclable punsters

In my cell, a many-minded body,
Breath propelled, floating through rooms
Bodies, profaned in the stewing plague
Just the idea of bodies. . . touching
A nervous social poison
etches itself on every furrowed brow

Every thumb, an alphabet smashing savant
Stunned, and stunted, we grew apart
Branches, wireframed by circumstance
Twisting in the stubborn wind our soft  spots
by the light of rectangular blue suns

I smash myself a quick note:
Yes self, we did touch her;
If only for one, bitter-sweet moment.

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