Above Ground and Below
I left Rachel and Eli in the dark because
I’m in the dark. The lights went out
around nine o’clock
and I split,
pointed my motorcycle towards New Mexico in hopes that when I got back
the power would have returned.
Not a chance. The electric company
said it was a squirrel that got into the transformer, chewed it all
to shit, but what do electric company guys know,
they’re too busy napping in their trucks
after lunch. I’ve got nothing against blue collar workers.
I used to mine coal for a time, but there
are just too many wires, above ground and below,
for anyone to make sense of anything.
I think about this stuff at least eight hours a day
and it makes me stupid. Literally. Some mornings
I can’t subtract three from five
with a calculator.
When my wife asks me to take out the trash, I pick up a plant.
It’s a condition of what the electric company guys have done to the planet.
Not that it’s their fault,
everyone has got to feed the family, but
I just don’t see us figuring out this maze of wires
even when it’s not a hundred degrees outside.
Forget about after the big boom or
after the disintegration of trees.
So, that’s why I headed to New Mexico–
to watch the light drink its southwest luminescence
I lived there once, for two weeks
and it felt like birth,
life and death
every time I looked at the sky.
I looked at it all the time.
I walked the earth,
met a guy named Bert,
had no sex,
took a shit in the bush.
It was the whole thing.
So tonight, after the squirrel worked its magic.
I thought I’d try to see some purple, some orange, a smudge of pink
inside my head and out.
I didn’t mean to make Rachel feel left.
I didn’t mean to forget to tell her where the candles were.
I just had to go.
But half way down the street
I was lost already.
I turned the bike around.
There was more light to find
in the dark at home,
than anywhere else on the planet,
and sooner rather than later,
the electric company guys came and had the lights up,
the toasters humming,
the t.v. on ten.
That’s when I fell in love with them
and was so in love
I went into the house
and kissed my wife
for a very long time.