Collision Course, Hour Twenty-Four

Collision Course

Sleep in the beginning
of this yearly adventure
flirtatiously flitted
around the periphery
of consciousness,
not quite
stepping into view.

Now, near the end,
sleep collides
with my eyes,
forcing blackout periods
from which I startle
and jump mid word,
a deer fleeing the hunt,
an involuntary response
to bone deep exhaustion
whose only remedy now
is sleep.

The Silver Metal Lover, Hour Twenty-Three

The Silver Metal Lover*

He is the ultimate lover,
never tires, never complains,
knows your preferences, and
flawlessly performs them every time.

He never hungers,
nor does he thirst,
but for your comfort
he will simulate both.

Your desires
are his desires
manifested, made real,
and prioritized above all else.

Should you need a shoulder
to cry on,
you can soak his shirt
and he won’t complain.

He is perfection personified,
and therefore, a threat.
A human lover could never compete,
and so he must go.

He will be ripped apart,
his supple silver skin slashed,
gears and wheels laid bare,
and melted down for scrap.

This world cannot willingly abide
something as beautiful as he.

*The Silver Metal Lover, by Tanith Lee


Nobody, Hour Twenty-Two


Off the map,
off the charts,
in a red roadster
on a road to nowhere.
Nothing, and
nobody (who are you?)*
would drive that red roadster
to the middle of nowhere
without bad intent:
a spent lover
to leave
on the side of the road,
or a body to hide
in the bog.
She’s somebody
in that red roadster,
pretending to be
so the next time
she rides through
she’ll put the top down,
let the wind
play with her curls,
but on this trip,
this time,
she’s nobody.

*references Emily Dickinson’s poem I’m Nobody, Who Are You?

Hail the Conquering Heroes, Hour Twenty-One

Hail, the Conquering Heroes

Spring’s monsoon rains and sudden hails
chase away the faint of heart hipsters
and wanna-be nature babies,
leaving campus paths through dripping trees
clear for we academic adventurous few.

Share my umbrella,
equally miserable
beneath broken ribs.

No Place Like Home, Hour Twenty

No Place Like Home

The concierge was made aware in advance
that this was to be a second honeymoon,
no expense spared for the middle aged lovebirds
reigniting their romance with tired, damp matches.

A nest was made near the water,
whose lapping made the wife need to pee,
and they were to lay on a goose down mattress
and pillows that made him sneeze.

Gamely, they gave it a go, tried to rest
in their old lover’s knot, that position that knows
what to do with the extra arm,
only to awaken hours later, entangled and aching.

Ant colonies had bitten in unseemly places,
the champagne made her flatulent,
shellfish in the hors d’oeuvres swelled him like a sausage,
and a sudden squall soaked them.

So miserable they had to laugh,
they found a reason to commiserate,
a new story to tell the kids (with more than a bit of distance),
and a burning desire to be nowhere but home.

Imaginarium, Hour Nineteen


The sleepy, somnolent air of a summer’s day
reels away in ribbons through the stratosphere,
spooling down to cooler night
as the city awakens again.

Electric cars are death watch beetles, tick-ticking
over still hot pavement, invisible until close enough
to be touched by startled pedestrians sharing their space.

Lights in skyscraper windows flicker and burn
in tandem, until finally they are as torches
reaching up to the sky, a sacrifice
to the new gods of industry.

Furtive love and quicksilver hate duel for supremacy,
a lover’s dance that never ends,
slipping, sliding, grinding, through the night.

Duality, Hour Eighteen


Sadness and joy often inhabit
the same moment, a counter balance.

I had just finalized my divorce
and moved into a home of my own,
signing the papers for the house
on my daughter’s fifteenth birthday.

I could not celebrate her birth,
nor mourn the death of a marriage,
as the children would be away with their father
for the first time since the divorce.

Melancholy welled up as I sat
in my nearly empty home
on the futon that was
then my only furniture.

Sensing my sadness,
my dog Ginger cuddled up on my left,
and Black Magic, the cat,
on my right.

Both gazed upward at my face
with twin expressions that said
“Don’t worry, it’ll be alright,”
and suddenly,
inexplicably, it was.

Green Eyed Monster, Hour Seventeen

Green Eyed Monster

Medusa was born a mortal beauty, the daughter to two sea gods
and sister to monsters.

Her beauty became her undoing.
An enraptured Poseidon seduced and impregnated her
in Athena’s temple, enraging the virgin goddess,
who then turned Medusa into the most hideous monster of all.

As if that weren’t revenge enough, Athena then gave
the location of Medusa’s island to Perseus,
who cut off her head and used it to turn his enemies to stone.

Freeing Medusa’s head from her body also released
her twin children, Pegasus and Chrysaor, from her neck.
Blood from her severed head dripped onto Lebanon
as Perseus flew with it overhead, dooming it to a plague of snakes.

All this because a mortal woman was just too beautiful.

42, Hour Sixteen


At age fifteen I met the boy who would one day become my husband.
We briefly dated, then parted ways after a misunderstanding
we were both too shy to correct.

Don’t panic.
It all ended well.

Decades later we met again after hardships on both sides,
stronger and wiser and finally ready to deeply love.

We each kept our towels with us,
as we wooed one another and finally married.
At what age did we figure out the answer
to life, the universe, and everything,
and incidentally, marry?


*“Write a poem with the last line being a question and the answer being the title.”

Truth and the Chinese Lantern, Hour Fifteen

Truth and the Chinese Lantern

Come closer, grandson, and I’ll tell you a tale,
the allegory of the Chinese Lantern.

Once there was a plant, lovely and mysterious,
her fruits enticingly veiled in lacy shadow.

The Chinese Lantern thrived in nearly any climate,
though given rich soil she spread beyond control
and killed off other plants in her exuberance, therefore:
in all things, moderation.

The Chinese Lantern tidily grew in poor soil,
lending her beauty to an otherwise arid landscape, thus:
where there is no struggle, there is no strength.

The Chinese Lantern seed pods dried to ethereal perfection,
their seeming fragility lasted long after the rest of her died away, and so:
death is the greatest illusion of all.

Chinese Lantern seeds were found in small, round, sweet fruits,
both medicinal and nutritious, but remained cloaked
in a paper shroud that had to be stripped away, so as the Buddha says:
three things cannot be long hidden, the sun, the moon, and the truth.

Admire the Chinese Lantern, dear grandson,
and remember the truths she teaches.

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