i leave the door open so the nervous cat can eat without choking on its panic

with ice cream softening in a bowl
on the counter, taking my attention
with it in its quiet transition of form,
i wind rush with the thoughts
in my head. my head
and its contents of thoughts;
my form and its expansion from ice
cream and a rain brushed day, encouraging me
towards a minimally motioned recline.
earlier, when reclined and moving only
in the subtle flutter of shallow breath, my mother
on her couch, and we watch
a show about cooking, about life and how we ascribe
it meaning. the age’d woman on the television,
sweating over and beside
a heap of smoking wood,
she spoke of her dead husband and dead
son. a stroke for the former, cancer
for the latter. we both mother and i
sip tea and eat, as the televised woman talks
of a famished cancer that ate her son’s brain,
removing the roving function of his legs
in its hollowing progress. my mother is alive.
her husband, my father, is dead.
dead, going on 15 years now, an attacking
heart seizing him in midday’s yawn,
sending him to defeat.
in my imagination, for i was not there, i see
his feet scrabbling on linoleum, searching
for grip that is no longer his
to borrow. and my mom
on her couch, she becomes
quietly emotional, hearing this other woman speaking
of death and loss. i wonder at why
we only think of certain emotive states as being
defined, “emotional”. i in a chair, teetering
on the narcotic quivering lip of Sunday
afternoon nap, was i not also emotional?
are anger and sadness more emotive than quietude
and acceptance? of course i was and am not now
accepting, despite my daily struggle towards such
a graceful state. instead i am thinking
of ice cream on the counter, slowly
softening. and i am thinking of the woman
who left me a few months ago, how
her leaving seems to have brought me
to a slow softening. i like the word
“supplicate” and therefore find reasons
to use it. i think magically at the purity
of pain i feel, my abandonment,
a changing of form. i feel a need to beg
her forgiveness, thinking this act may allow
the We of once to again form,
solidifying back from our separate states
of She and I. and i know
enough to understand that i am barely
coherent, threadbare in my cogency. i know
that i do not know anything other than
ice cream in a bowl
on the counter. and my heart
here in my whispering chest. and rain
falling on the outside backyard sod. all,
a slow softening.

perhaps the missing 
i feel is a misplaced desire 
for prostration, in my athletic atheistic
denial of deity, i seek worship 
and prostration. in this absence
i feel a haunting want 
that i attach to specter 
and phantom; the woman
who has left me, 
the dad who no longer
lives, the mother alone
on her couch. need presses into me 
taking with it my breath. i press back 
and rattle in the space between 
impress and depress.
meat fills in to meet 
the bones of my coursing body,
my body, oh body, it seeks a body.
to impress upon and with depressions 
to sink in to. as i am still ignorant 
of how to accept love, i fill 
my blindness with a desire 
to worship. perhaps if i love 
another devotedly i can learn to turn 
from the sabotage of my hands, 
shaking as they wield. 

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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