THIS POEM IS NOT ABOUT ME
Because not everything I write is
about myself. I used the word “she”
not “me.” “he” not “you.” this is
fiction. made up. which is different
than fantasy. that myopia
that funnels the infinite potential of awareness
through a skinny garden hose
into a blow-up kiddie pool
in a tiny backyard of the mind.
one thought. only one. over and over.
it’s about you. I mean him. I mean she
always thinks about him.
and when that pool gets too full it floods.
runs over. moodiness. not satisfied with things
as they are. she likes to swim with a pair of fantasy
goggles. everything takes on that tinge. that blur.
but she always tires eventually of bathing her adult
body in that ridiculous little pool. annoyed
that her limbs hang over the sides. her weight
pulling them flat so the water escapes
onto the grass. that’s when she takes
those goggles off. and things are
just like this. just now.
she is suddenly a huge deity. Kwan Yin.
hovering above the entire ocean. light
reflects on its surfaces. buoyed by waves
and that need. that longing. those fabrications
are now a dime that fell out of someone’s
swimming trunks. just like that.
surfs and settles in the sand. now forgotten.
and the water is so large. unimaginable.
and remember. I was just a swimmer nearby.
it didn’t happen to me.
—from Rattle #34, Winter 2010
Tribute to Mental Health Workers