Letter Sent Home: Please Hand Cancel

You know what I’m talking about, you’ve seen
the headlines too–how So and So Collapses
in an airport, a doctor diagnoses
exhaustion–how So and So goes away
to rest, to reclaim some sense of self.  I always
imagined this luxury of tiredness
affordable only to the rich, movie stars
and rock ‘n’ roll celebrities, people
whose daily lives played out as documentary.
But now I know that’s a lie, because
here I am on a spring morning so tired
I can taste a dream on my tongue.  I’ve gone
away, left you to yard work, home maintenance,
the late afternoon walk to gather our mail.
I said I needed rest, a place to refuel.
I lied.  I need much more than sleep, much more
than careless dreaming.  Sometimes I lie so
much the truth’s hard to tell and has a false
ring to it.  Last night I dreamt we were making
love in an old hotel off Union Square, San Francisco.
We thrashed and clawed each other against
the rumble of delivery trucks below
our window, the sounds of a city
very much alive.  Only after
we’d made our slow journey back into this
world did I look out the window, saw
the billboard–Ken Griffey, Jr., large as sky.
I knew then the dream was a lie, that I was
in the wrong city, with the wrong man, perhaps
even a bit player in someone else’s
small blue dream.  This is what some people call
a moment of truth, that tiny second
of clarity we liars hope to own but
only lease–no matter how earnestly,
no matter how often we pray.  The truth,
in its raw, pure power truly’s a gift
to be cradled.  So there you have it .

I’ll write again, I promise you that much.

Filed under: Poetry