October 26, 2011

Charles Harper Webb

EXAMINED LIFE

My skin’s the perfect temperature.
My pajamas fit exactly right.
No bed-wrinkle makes me shift

or twitch. Too bad my bladder
is so tight it shoves me out of bed.
When I get back, sleep’s water-jar still

barely balanced on my head,
my wife’s coming awake
the way a coral reef rises with a falling

tide. As our son rattles his crib
in the next room, she slides away.
Observe you’re comfortable,

and comfort decays. Beside our bed,
blinds start to clack. Cold wind
whips trash around the chambers

of my head. The Ego sighs,
and pulls its flannel work-shirt on.
The Superego sweeps the floor.

“Why bother?” growls the Id.
“What’s in it for me?” “Pipe down,”
I say, and split the drapes.

Psyche examined Love; it fled.
Outside, rain darts though gusts
of visibility.

from Rattle #26, Winter 2006