Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Debt Free

No matter how fresh our footprints
to the door are, they never stay
Even though proof of us is there
in crisp mornings 
walking the dog in the dark 
& stars still twinkling in silence
after your Houdini tricks

The crackle of broken branches 
& dried leaves are evidence, too
The audible memory of our existence
transcends the minutiae of our quarrels
where squirrels in daylight robbed
& hid deep in trunks of old trees

Only to fall to the ground, forced 
off the ledge, rejected by the old curator
& the voices from the Pandora Box 
came back alive in us

You wouldn't give me the full-throttle
of your heart to bare proof to our
purpose, just glued pieces of us 
back haphazardly
with thick, ugly brown old glue
covering the San Andreas Fault
of this bare bone china

I shout: "Show me proof!"  Want it only 
certified and officially stamped 
even if it bypassed postal worker bees
in the wee hours of morning
who ensure news safely
gets to where it needs to go

& I waited for it patiently, diligently
checking the mailbox daily
You came & went like you did 
many times before, except now
I wanted to check your pockets for it

But you bared nothing but daily rantings
of your arcane life & how you 
yearned to sail around 
the world with me in retirement 
to stow away in some rustic, 
two-bit paradise bar
with other old ex-pats & young, 
drunk & chatty Peace Corps teachers

Wait. We've been there before,
repeat. Alas, yet nothing
but spider webs in my mailbox,
no golden-sealed letter that write
the whole weighty student loan off
that dredged through years of my life
like this--no relief from the debts
of plans gone awry

Waited long enough to start 
at the dusty airport where I left
& you said you'd be back in only 
four months time

But years passed & gave me nothing 
to bank on, to build up credit for, 
to put away for the future,
just senseless selfish chatter 
about your dreams where
you inserted me somewhere
for who knows for how long this time,
as long as I don't leave, you say

I close my mailbox, 
locked the front door behind me 
& gave you back
all that you owed