Friday, April 27, 2018

"Parity, Or Its Equivalent"

In honor of National Poetry Month, I have posted work by myself each Friday; for this final Friday, here is a piece called "Parity, Or Its Equivalent."

Parity, Or Its Equivalent

“In the mirrors of a modern bank,
From the window of a hotel room…”
--Joni Mitchell

The light reflected should be
equal to the light approaching but
sometimes it’s not the right face,
it’s not who I expect to see.

I catch a flash of a suited man,
gym-sized in pointy collars, silk tie,
black eyes, a look on his face like war.
He is a certain type of successful:
his pointy collars say so.

Turning in time to see my face,
weary, older, out with friends,
pausing a moment, perhaps in Shubert Alley
after leaving the restaurant, flushed from
wine, hand brushing back hair and a
smile that says he is tired of gravity.

In the blue world on the other side,
a blond one, a child, or a
man who looks like a child,
head hung, eyes averted, darting,
working out where the next attack
will come from, calculating a way
to slip away unseen.

Not future, not past.
Not maybe, not lost, just now—but changed.
Everything turns in the same spot,
the axis, the trunk supporting all branches,
so when the question comes:
Are you the center of the universe?
our answer must come back:
Yes, of course.

After the impersonations,
most shocking when it comes,
just a view of sky, clouds.
He is already gone.

©JEF 2016

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