“purple thang, gold hammers, yeah you clean as hell fool”

it is only May
in Alaska
so dusk comes
at a time of
dusk.
writing this,
in June,
dusk does not arrive
until evening has
long past stretched
itself athletically into
night.
but in May
dusk arrives at
dusk.

a walk along
a small harbor,
clad in woolen long
sleeve and green
coat of goose,
maybe duck.
a man, i know
his name though
i do not really know
him. he had a past
sexual relationship
with a woman i
once tightly orbited;
he smiles easily and
has a symmetrical
face; his body
propels him up
and down mountains;
i perceive him
to be well-liked
in the community and
well-fit in his place
within it.
for these reasons
and my own staggering
insecurities, i must
wrestle my mind
from its desire to
aggressively judge
him.
i might like to
convince myself
of his fault lines,
so as to calm
my shaking sense of
self.
this man, he passes
by me, in the
dusk-time dusk
of Alaskan May.
we exchange pleasant
greetings and i blurt
out as he passes,
“i emailed you
a while back…”.
the rest of the exchange,
inconsequential,
still-pleasant.
i am accepted
into the gathering folds
of dark
as we walk our
separate ways,
indeed
the dark consoles me
in its obfuscating grace;
i feel i have bungled
this social interaction,
feel the kindness i had
hoped to convey
was instead received as
aggression, ego,
oafishness.

a friend enters a store
that i am already inside of.
i notice the shoes on his feet,
they look new, and are
nearly identical to shoes
i myself have owned.
a type of closed-toe leather
sandal, though his have a
strap on the back, to keep
the heel from slipping. we talk
for a time as we always do.
without benefit of strap,
my tongue slips, words fall
out. he leaves as he always does.
i remain, vacant in the alone
store, as i always do, and think,
“i have bungled that social interaction”.
i had intended him
agreeable love and affable kindness,
though think he received my words
as confused, aggressive,
yes, always that,
simplistic.

we meet each other
on streets and in stores.
we pass by in parks and
parking lots. we go to bars
and concerts and coffee shops.
we stay home,
alone and not.
we carry with us
slivers of spirit,
like moon.
and when we greet each
other, we cautiously cup
our slivered moon spirit in our hands
and outstretch them, timid but
proud, like a shy child
at show and tell.
we hope our spirit will grow
as it meets its myriad mates,
outstretched tenderly in cupped hands.
we hope that despite our
callused hands and callous tongues,
our meaning is understood,
that our insecurities and
false-perceptions do not shout
over our intention;

i am safe for you,
i mean you no harm.
please, do you
intend me harm?
can you see the sliver
of my spirit? isn’t it
beautiful?

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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