Feeling Zathrus

I seek one who has
perfected the fine,
and coarse,
art of being human.

That is not
entirely
true.

I seek many such. But finding one is daunting enough.

I have searched
in Dorothy’s backyard,
but the sky is ominously green and dark,
and I never was in Kansas to begin with,

and the Acropolis,
but, naturally, it was all Greek
to me, and as one of caryatids
I cannot go elsewhere without the
roof caving in,

and in the frozen foods aisle,
behind doors that fog, obscure,
if you open them,
but still hold tightly to the rime
without reason
closed.

I have searched the
distant hearts
of my family,
books in Braille that remain
unread
as we never touch,

searched in every
crook and nanny
for the soul that might ease
this incessant tic, this maddening tick,
for ease itself.

I seek to be one who has
perfected the fine,
and coarse,
art of being human.

And the closer I get,
the more of me I find,
the more of you I find,
and the closer I get.

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Quills

I don’t know if the language belongs to me,
or I belong to the language;
it may all be one and the same,
and for certain we were born of
the same mother, she who embraces us
with a smile before putting her head
in the gas oven. She thinks it’s funny.

It probably is.

But these words are the heavy fingertips
and tongues of flame with which I
make love to the world,
a wild boy who’s no good for me,
but earns my fondness
nonetheless,
for his rakish grin, and the
jaunty angle of his fragility,
his sneering emotional limp,
and the way he laughs
inappropriately
at funerals, a sure sign of
hope
indefatigable.

I have been reciting,
wielding,
this alphabet forwards and backwards,
although more frequently the latter,
despite being far from sober, and
refusing
to walk the straight line,
nor toe it, either.