Let me return to the subject of
you, Franz. Can I call you Franz?
Does Kafka fit the bill? Would K. suffice?
Even here, in asking your name,
I am riddled with useless questions,
pores sweating indecisiveness.
Franz? Franz. There can be no confusion.
I am here to relay you a message.
It’s certainly important, bears the seal
of the highest known authority.
Never mind the pain it’s caused you,
it will all be sorted out in time,
and anyway, the kind of trap we’re
born into, pain is inevitable.
I am no doctor, I am no pharmacist,
I cannot cure whatever may ail you,
I cannot cease the cough and hack
that plagues your every breath,
I cannot even stop the questions
leaking from my own mouth.
I am only here in the capacity of
a messenger, so here is where I say,
Franz, I must tell you, before
time runs out and sleep takes me,
I have a message for you dictated
from the inner folds of my cerebral tissue
and it has traveled endlessly
down fractioned neurons and through
reptilian brain, medulla, spinal cord,
back to nerves, to the mouth, to
my fingers, coming out all wrong,
no periods, all breaths no stops,
I must tell you the message, so you
can stop dreaming at your window,
so I can stop dreaming at mine,
Franz, I must tell you, what she said