“Just Like Two People” by Richard Garcia

Richard Garcia


I got out of bed like a decomposing century of death. I had been in a dream in which we were together like a steel daisy and a rose made of razor wire. Then I took a shower, all the while thinking of you, and my thoughts were a robin frozen on your lawn or maybe like a snowman in a blizzard. So I drove to work which is actually next door to the bedroom. My office reminded me of a bloodsoaked hairdresser, at least that’s what I thought until I wrote a poem that hit me on the head like a book falling out of the sky. Later I rode my bike through the park that was like a hot iron I thought was unplugged. All the bare trees made me think of Vlad the Impaler, but the birds were chirping like explosions in reverse. Or was it bald trees, or bards, or tresses instead of trees? Bike—poem—thoughts of you—all in all a successful day. Time for a nap and I slept like a duck in a phone booth. Again, I dreamt of you, picking up where we had left off. You and I together just like … like shards of falling glass. Except that I was just like two people, someone named you and a person named I. Once again my brain waited for me to wake like the basket waiting beneath the guillotine. But it was too late, already I had fallen through the trapdoor of interviewing myself. I was also a panel on Keeping the Faith. I was the audience too. Sometimes bored and skeptical of my answers, sometimes amused, but cautiously so, like a lion tamer with narcolepsy.

from Rattle #28, Winter 2007


Richard Garcia: “My fourth grade teacher asked if anyone could tell a story. I stood up and began a long story about my family’s journey to California in a wagon train. I began it by saying, ‘I was born very young.’ It contained many adventures, wild Indians, and stampedes. It was as new to me as it was to the rest of the class. I liked telling a story I had never read or heard, and I liked not having the slightest idea of what I was going to say next. That may have been my first poem.” (web)

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