it was winter
a Monday with rain that could and would not dry.
I hadn’t slept in two whole days; I hadn’t threaded the needle
or tried to spin much faster than a person ever should,
I just didn’t want the dream servants to laugh
(like they do every night when I close my eyes to sleep).
and writers often get hungry
and then we feast, starve a few more times and feast again.
I paced like a man on trial for murder
(and one I surely didn’t commit; not alone at least)
wandering my rotting jail like the infamous Land of Nod.
I had pled with a woman coddled in leopard’s skin.
I begged for twenty sticks of cancer while my checks hid
in the mail; (mailmen don’t work in the night,
and not because they’re lazy that’s just the way things are)
eventually, I put my phone to bed, the distractions were endless
and awaited my moonlit execution:
another night of music that cries like the fingers
of Chopin (not that endless deluge, a storm that wouldn’t die).
then I sat at my computer to write a letter to the gods,
to tell them to come on down to hell and stop laughing from above;
and this is when I heard that high-pitched ping
the one that often makes me squirm
(the frauds and coven of witches without any flesh who score when we tell them far too much, and only for the product of our measly bank accounts)
but the ping came from a friend, one I didn’t know I had
who holds her despair with a bravery I cannot even fathom;
she is not a victim, she’s a survivor
(and from the violence of a man who walks in the dark
inhabits a world of cowardly swine).
are you okay she asked me, although she already knew the answer
I’d been writing on the faces of books, the one we all use for various reasons.
I told her the truth, a trait I’ve learned to adore:
I need you to ride 20 Camels to my lonely world
my walls are dirty and white and the paintings have disappeared.
it wasn’t much later that I heard the web of the Camels feet
and not just 20 but 60; I hugged my long lost friend
I thanked her kindly and she thanked me too.
for what I said: for your inspiration, your real honesty,
your valor in this deplorable world.
but I thought I was a fool, I told her, the butt of a terrible joke?
no, you are extremely kind and amazingly truthful,
you inspire the world with your words and caring thoughts
I told her: you know, I try to be kind to everyone, but sometimes I sing way out of key when someone cuts open my heart
and then sleeps like the honored guest at a deserted funeral.
It’s true, I squeal when others pretend I don’t exist,
when my truth does not satisfy their unresolved discomfort and pain so I am the goat who carries another monkey
on my back, the one I shook with lingering scars.
that night, after the two nights of wallow and grief I slept,
and the dream servants didn’t show
because a simple act of kindness can change another person’s
day; and every day is the entire world wrapped in twenty-four
it was winter