August 5, 2020

Alejandro Escudé

BED SHEETS (MOVING OUT AFTER SEPARATION)

I wanted my soul out of the house, too.
So, I took all my diaries—twenty or so,
from the past twenty years. And I slipped them
into the recycling bin. I took all my photos,
baby, childhood, adolescence, college years,
and trashed those, too. I took my blood pressure reader,
and I took the white carnival mask I bought in Venice.
I wasn’t going to leave myself at the house.
She offered me sheets for my bed. I took them 
to the new place then dumped them in the trash bin. 
She offered me the dog’s bed, and I accepted,
but it never even made it close to his food bowl.
I took my bicycle, the one that folds up to fit inside a car.
I was proud to buy it for myself. She didn’t understand 
the purchase. She looked at me, I remember this,
as if I’d acquired a reptile who we’d now have to feed
live mice and crickets. A bicycle so I could get in shape.
A fucking bicycle! Do you understand what I’m driving at?
She wanted my father to help her move out, too.
Her brother-in-law would be there, but they needed
my father’s truck. My father loved her like a daughter.
In many ways, he was just as hurt as me.
I lied and said my father couldn’t help. If she wanted 
the patio furniture then she’d have to figure out a way 
to haul it. The moon that night was a harvest moon.
Yellow. Smudged by leftover rain clouds or wind.
What the hell do I know about weather?

from Rattle #68, Summer 2020

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Alejandro Escudé: “I didn’t realize the importance of having engaged in a lifelong relationship with poetry until I needed it to survive. It’s an instrument, a companion instrument that nobody can take away from you. It’s also a form of insulation from the wasteland of the world where you can go when you need a break or a place to quietly contemplate and study the common absurdities of human experience. Every day, we face a wasteland. Sometimes, it’s an aggressive boss, an angry driver, a public or private injustice of some sort. Other times it’s a rampant disease altering our environment for an extended period of time. Whatever the case, poetry is there like a garden, welcoming us with its eternal shade and warmth and wisdom.” (web)

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