You tell me we’re fine. We talk. We whisper at each other’s ears. There’s a long and winding street and we walk it silently, hand in hand, our vision fixed at the invisible horizon. I catch glimpses of your hair, you look at the gravel. You tell me we’re fine.
No, we’re not.
The human resources department processed my papers. A man took my picture to put on the new ID. The COO himself smiled at me, asked me when I’ll be back. A stack of money may be in a dark corner somewhere, waiting for my nervous hands to grip it tightly. Hope says the bank is good to me.
No, it’s not.
My nephew can’t talk. He should be talking by now. He should be talking to me, asking me questions why water is wet or why the ground doesn’t bend like his bed. But he only speaks gibberish, can’t even pronounce my name or our dog’s. Clues tell me he’s dumb.
No, he’s not.
My mother patches things up. There are dirty dishes on the sink, she washes them with virtuoso skill. There’s phlegm in my lungs, she gives me a pill. There are forgotten bills, she pins them on the fridge for everyone to see. Everyone must see that this house is a well-oiled machine because she is a well-oiled machine.
No, she’s not.
I’m downloading a pirated film on the Internet while Somalian sea pirates take another batch of hostages. I don’t care because it’s just another news on the screen. Scratching my head, I wonder what there is to ponder when all the wonders have left their seats for unknowable shores yonder. And I create run on sentences unnecessary to my life, I waste them. I’m rich, I waste them. I have time, so I’ll waste them. See? I’m lucky.
No, I’m not.
You slip on your high-heels, some exceptionally sexy high-heels. Your bag, it carries all of your weapons to bring down the world to your feet. And the world, many times, have kissed your high-heels while I read another news on the screen. You walk the streets, past rat carcasses, past banks, and houses where nephews can’t talk and where mothers pin bills on fridges. You sit on your chair, eternally beautiful, love deep beneath your bosom. You have the lips I run to kiss, and you type the words, some words that kill. You are merciful.
No, you’re not.
And the rest of the sleepy people on the streets, they keep me guessing what drives them, what makes them live up to now. Why, in this heat, with all these rat carcasses beneath their slippers, the endless honking, belching, screaming, lining up, and falling down — why are they still alive up to now? Why won’t they die? I shiver at the thought of billions of mornings scaring people before their eyelids open. When you look at their faces, they smirk, and tell you they’re fine.
No, they’re not.
They cannot be
And we cannot be
As long as we’re too busy
Writing our own mad poetry.