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from the August 2013 issue

The round table is the eye

that sees
the unfolding tragedy.
You are wearing your glasses,
your shirt is open
you are sweating a little.
Lighters, half-empty beer bottles, sugar,
computers, pencils, paper, can and bottle openers,
your favorite turquoise coffee cup with the chipped rim,
band-aids, scalpels, telephones,
corks, cold cuts, knives,
tape, CDs, bread, spoons,
pictures, books, notes, sketchbooks fill
the tabletop,
but it is the silence between
the drop
that makes it overflow
and spill
down onto the floor
down between the floorboards
down into the basement,
out onto the street
into the busses.
The cushions on the seats are torn.
I sit uncomfortably.
I move back and forth
but fall down between.

I suddenly notice
that I’ve vanished.
Terrified, I search
the kitchen,
the bedroom,
the hallway,
the places where I’ve lived, breathed, loved, feared
and also hoped these past months
to find
who I once was.
Did I fly out through the little window
that always stood
like a tiny green bird,
one night
while I slept?
Did I run down the brown,
narrow stairs
out into the yard,
out through the steel gate
one peaceful morning,
while we drank strong coffee with milk in it
and laughed?
Did I swim down the drain
like a quick fish of all
the rainbow’s colors
along with the dirty, brown water
when you emptied the plastic dishpan
like so many times before
all the while talking to me?
Or was it your eraser
that rubbed that sketch of me
out of your notebook one day
when you were dissatisfied with your efforts?

Read more from the August 2013 issue
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