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How I Came to be Here
This is how it was-
The day; bright as a newly minted penny
clean houses like white knuckles
the sky tamed to a bright, pedestrian hue.
Me, in my pale dress, the one the jealous, delicate hue of limes
and matching pumps, standing on the smooth congress
of sun-blanched sidewalk before all the smug, snug houses
and their sweeps of manicured lawn;
Seeking for the door that is my own,
for the bolthole, the sanctuary
that hides me safe as a nutmeat in its shell.
I have been this way an hundred times before,
taken the taxi cab from the doctor's cathartic office
with my clutch of daisies and their thirteen virgin petals
climbed from the cracked, gum and sweat scented seats
handed over the crumpled green faces to the man behind the
plexiglass, smoothed my skirt and scuttled
up the short walk to my frontdoor.
It has always been there,
Ready to open, as all doors must,
upon the tucked and seedy refuse of my life,
But somehow, I've gone all wrong.
The day unfastens itself along seams before unguessed at,
unzips to reveal this terrifying reality.
The taxi is long gone, my handbag
prim and tight, perched vaguely on the backseat
like a matron, gone with it, not even a vaporish trail of exhaust
remains to waver in the clean
residential air. And the houses, so many houses,
stretch along bright, neat streets
as far as I can see. But none are mine.
I spin in circles
reading the blur of house-numbers as I turn, but
circumstance remains shockingly unaltered,
reflects in my orbital sockets, lays across the liquid lens
of my disbelieving eyes. Encrypted,
the world's become a cipher, and me without
my Orphan Annie decoder ring, or a set of blueprints
to mark the way, like those Arthur Murray feet
my parents learned to Rumba by, not even
the manic webbings of Rand McNally
or a scatter of crumbs to follow,
there is nothing to guide my way.
And as I gaze at the faultless sky
and the trim suburban houses, perfect
in their geometry,
a sort of dread overtakes me.
The street signs give the lie to my obdurate bones:
this is not my house,
this is not my street,
this is not my neighborhood,
not my neighborhood
NOT MY NEIGHBORHOOD.
Not my city, or state...
All around me ranked prettily, this gleaming,
merciless normalcy, the doors all shut against me
daisies like a scatter of snow at my feet,
while I stand, exposed,
frozen on the sidewalk,
POETRYREPAIRS 11.05: 060|