I sit up all night working at the desk beneath the mirror
In this hotel with your gym clothes drying by the vent
Of the air-conditioner sucking air from the common corridor
And blowing it at the temperature we select
The smell of Monday Tuesday Wednesday cakes my inner-nose
My inner-ear is almost closed from too much beer and too much snow
I can't remember if we've tried but can we wait I am so tired, no
It must be time, it must be time, it must be time to tell
I don't do this because I love you
And I don't do it because I care
You mustn't seek to make such a distinction dear
Between man and wife these reasons tend to pale
Even when your point is dull and my eyes are strained and weary
And you're only even hitting your mid-stride
Even after I tell you the most important realization
And your sole response is to ask me what I mean
All those times where one of us has broke wind in the car
When we both want the last of the champagne
I know that I am selfish each time I look past my own hands grasping
And I know you notice but pretend not to see me shame myself this way
And yet, I don't think this because I love you
And I don't pray it because I care
You mustn't seek to make such low distinctions, please
The children watching are blind but they can hear
Where does a fool like me find himself an angel
Find himself with you whom to behold
Where does an honest policeman find his payoff pray tell
Racking his brain for a new roof for his home
Common sense might help me to determine
The course which I chose simply to obscure
The obvious voice will whisper 'he is a traitor'
Having turned my back on regret made to endure
And if there is a time tomorrow when one of us must go
I hope it's me and not for pity and certainly not for show
Even in exaggeration it would still be just as true
I can't imagine dying in a world that's without you
I don't say this because I love you
Neither do I sing it because I care
There is no way for us to make distinctions like these
We're far too close to look up and be scared
When at last we've reached the furthest destination
And we shuffle out and meet the new terrain
Why not just make a habit of staying awhile
Before the parting waves cease to ripple in our wake
I always knew there were two summers, two windows, but never how to see them
It didn't seem the purpose was to compare or define, but rather to look after, to mind
Like how when cutting shapes out of paper, among the scraps are such lovely other shapes, new places to begin
Taking in familiar space, taking and changing and giving it back, though partially setting the stage for intermission, the second act, and the end
Oh, to hold these keys and not to use them, what a burden to assume when much more inclined are we to build locks and bar doors
Barriers we know how to react to given the time or necessity
Whereas freedom, liberty, remain open invitations to struggle, shadow-boxing our own mythology, rewritten and told each day one hundred times, one thousand times, what's happening?
Reply's decay, replies decay, orderly motion's closing
And so a new bird sings his song, he was born with, he was made for, and he does
Brilliant and blue, brilliant and midnight blue, glittering in the sun's light
Alone in a tree, surrounded by other trees, and neighbors who drop by for fussing
The song which lives inside waits to be sung, waits for the air to part and the clamor to yield
To live the life given is work, to sing the song given is love, what it means to whom is mystery indeed
We break free from this, as the bird leaves his tree, looking for tomorrow
And each day listening, waiting for our cues- our entrances, our exits, timed/directed/coordinated with care (we'll see later)
Our passes weighted, even our dare-not dreams kept in the top drawer of our hearts
A locket for your troubles, a window for your fantasies
Gone on and whispered, nothing more to fend for
It seems that many such happenings are gifts, though unrequested and puzzling for a time
We close our eyes to remember, we open our hearts to forget
Identity floundered, and not found, reality taken for granted and used until broken, discarded, or lost
How many young men see their favorite foods made from start to finish by the hands which stitched them together
Only another generation can show these sights- the construction, the building of objects which surround and fill up this life
How women weather all storms by learning to speak calmly into the wind, bowed or not
No child sees Nessie, but nonetheless feels hot air on his/her neck, and tingly toes
So swimming lessons become lake, ocean, river adventures- even lost vacations**
But, what is not lost is that which was given before work, before instruction, even before hunger
That first light itself…
Pulling closer, filling in- connecting "empty" spaces in our imagination and schemes
From end to end, far beyond human scope, the outline keeps on glowing
Enough to walk in the dark, too much to fall in love with any one star
An abundance of energy, far more than the void demands
Must we weep for fear of the eventual extinguishment of all we see?
Better than to laugh at that, or mourn misery
Still, there is good enough for all - all right then
What should I do to get taken seriously
Cut my hair short and tuck in my shirt?
Switch from blue jeans and t-shirts to business suits, khaki shorts, and golf shirts?
Casually make more money than all the non-millionaires I know?
Switch out original opinions for mainstream ones but jazz them up with smug intellectual obscurities like the horse's ass does during the bar scene in "Good Will Hunting"?
What must I do to get taken seriously
Apologize my way through conversations if my interlocutor and I hold opposing views and they just can't handle it?
Spend significant mental energy trying to ensure my free speech doesn't trigger one of a million potential negative responses in one of a billion potential people?
What can I do to get taken seriously
Stop thinking for myself, de-educate myself?
Stop questioning, stop asking, stop wondering?
Stop laughing, stop crying, stop being honest?
What does one do to get taken seriously?
There are no guarantees
Keep being, keep growing, keep molting
Just a little bit more human everyday