A Poem For A Late Funeral

October 13, 2009

YOU REALIZE

after seeing a
movie about roller derby girls
alone on a Monday night
that you may be wasting
your entire life doing
whatever it is you are
doing every day.

The police car
followed you down three whole
streets, a sleek painted shark
sliding around corners as
you nervously eyed them
in the mirror, heart chug-
chug-chugging.

You patiently,
painfully, waited for those lights
to come on, whirling like drops
of popsicle juice, but when you
turned another useless corner just
to see if they were still following
you, you saw they were gone

it’s just you
on a green-lawned, palm-treed
lane you have never seen before.
It’s midnight and you realize you
are probably wasting your life
by pleasing yourself the way
you do, sitting there,

those sweet tarts
melting effortlessly in your mouth
as people study for the bar exam
or master that Bach concerto or
repair an uncorked heart valve,
or shoot an insurgent.

It’s true! they
gave Ed Allen Poe a proper funeral
today in Baltimore. The desert sky
applauded his well-used days by turning
black. Tonight, we will have a storm.

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