A button-up like limp lettuce hides a crooked spine,
The room populated by knotted necks, solid-dotted-striped.
Suited trees stand together alone, a facsimile of mimicry.
Their symphony plays through laptop speakers, wide and flat,
Skrillex, the modern melodist, a soundtrack of revision.
Wine to a glass, the poor porter fills to the brim,
Two dollars paid with a row of angled teeth.
It tastes like the trees, the limp lettuce, the knotted necks.
It’s adulthood in a glass, a masquerade of gilded youth,
A disguise made not by sips but by gulps,
Tongues flop on the floor, stale and rubber dry.
Then the forest disappears; mass exodus of high heels and loafers.
The prelude is over, the orchestra must rearrange, the DJ hits play.
A wine glass escapes the room, a Merlot torch in the night,
Stem strangled in a plump fist, nectar drained by eager lips.
The glass is left on a curb, filled red by a school bus’ brake lights.
Time, like loosened knotted necks, flows quickly, unimpeded.
White, circular plateaus are set and dressed,
Faceless hands prepare a feast,
It’s gone before its begun,
Tables turn to dance floors,
The orchestra finds their seats,
The conductor presses play,
Bodies are set in motion…
And then we kiss.
Between frugal lips,
Under low glower light,
Atop a hard, cracked carpet,
Among a stand of dancing trees,
Before a deafening wall of silent sound,
Against all forced thought and rigid expectation,
Through diminished senses and a sharply vanishing mind…
I find myself
* * *
Hours later, paralyzed against the stiff back of a couch…
My eyes roll across a room after a silverfish,
Soft translucency clings to a mottled wall.
I wonder where it went and how I can go back.
Maybe not under limp lettuce and knotted necks,
Maybe not with a Merlot torch raised high against the night,
Maybe not as a sybarite seeking company amongst hedonists.
No. Self can be found without a glass of gilded youth.
So, keep crawling toward the bottom of the box.
Unpack the hardcover memories with chewed corners,
Brush dust from alumni sweaters and alma matter t-shirts,
Remove the newspaper covered plates and the napkins
In studded brass rings, and hope to find a silverfish
Running on the wall.