reading the signs can be terrifying
by gary lundy
especially when they have to do with the body. what meaning the
sudden light headedness. the following vertigo. the small bump
noticed after showering. a toenail grown black over a few days.
then those outside the common grounding. a worn out symphony of
small complaints. or the always neatly groomed beard. a head scarf
worn perfectly. this season invites introspection. even though of
little use. let the man judge himself our parent tells us. be still
unless spoken to. yet even then words carry a premium of
unintentional meaning. write toward a rhythmic confusion. few care
to listen even when they are the only one speaking. as usual the
fine art embroils. close your eyes and imagine your hands and their
hands embracing. how easily hope is retrieved after a successful
childbirth. even in these final days of lost years. a sound of
hammering clean an espresso machine. when mail is lost not
delivered. wrap up the habitual package of wasted time. glow in the
dark balloons. a vacant retrieval of the memory of pure laughter.
perhaps i prepare for the arrival of empty words. where words are
simply themselves. carry no representation. jocular insomnia.
where do the dozens climb after dark. a toilet bowl stopped up.
there's a common assumption that tomorrow will lighten minutes
later. darkness floods minutes earlier. my ankles sored by entropy.
a broken and discarded printer abandoned in the alley. tall gangly
young one seduces. looks out a front window. pointing out which of
the many trees. there is nothing quick about these notes that drone
on and on. although not forever.
About the Author:
gary lundy's poems have appeared most recently in Setu: Western Voices Special Edition, Alexandria Quarterly, Incidia, Spider Mirror, Show Your Skin, Oxidant | Engine, and Antinarrative. His most recent book, each room echoes absence, was released by FootHills Publishing (March 2018). gary is a retired English Professor and queer living in Missoula, Montana.
About Weekly Flash Prose and Prose Poetry:
CutBank Online features one work of flash prose or prose poetry every Monday. Submissions are free and open year-round. Send us your best work of 750 words or less at https://cutbank.submittable.com/submit.