48: coma in cantos, canto 7

canto 7

i made loops for Lucy,
which is what I dubbed her,
brought twist ties for Thor
with which to bind the wires,
Thor, which is what I dubbed him,
and when he finished,
and when we were ready
for loading and departure,
Lucy smiling, Thor thinking
about what might’ve been after blood
spill, maybe, Cruz appeared at the open
door, and he had with him his
girlfriend, Maricela, these two,
Cruz and Maricela,
given to lovely extrapolations
hearty on the smallest spores
of experience:
lovely, lengthy dispensations
on leaf edges, lore, and life.

a mistake we came to make plain,
Cruz said, with brown pools
of apology in his eyes.
And, Maricela followed, we
forgot why we even visited.
Yes, Cruz said, with a laugh,
we argued down and argued
back up, we debated in the cab,
we paused for a cup at the cafe,
debating why we had come
in the first place,
but as to the mistake, that we
remembered, that with your key
we have, the one you gave us
we unlocked the door,
entered, and finding you out,
absent, and otherwise elsewhere,
we left and left the door unlocked,
he said with a laugh.

Lucy rose, Thor opened and closed
his hands, big hands,
good for crushing,
and I said, Cruz,
Maricela, this is Lucy and this is Thor,
who stared at Cruz and Maricela
with two disks leaf-colored
by discomfort and in his
legs, which he kept still,
I sensed the need of sprinting,
and so I said: They’ve come
for my consoles, the stereo,
the wires even, which they
came to purchase, as I, as you know,
have rare need for them.
As was their way,
Cruz and Maricela
approached both
and kissed each on the cheek,
though for Thor’s cheek
Cruz had to reach for the right one
with his lips
and, Thor, in response,
began a slow sideslide
toward the open door out,
freedom, I figured, the openness
and options of the sidewalk
and street below
for good places, dark places
to hide in.

i offered, therefore,
my voice to him. I said:
how about pizza, how about beer,
and we’ll help you remember, Cruz,
help you remember,
Yes, Lucy said, we can help you
remember and Thor closed his eyes
and said, Then we have to get going
with your stuff, these wires and these
other things, all this stuff.

Lucy had small hands,
the color of butter.
She sat on the floor
beside Maricela and Cruz,
who bit into a slice and coughed
over the coffee table.
He said: I know now; I remember
now: the play, Maricela, the play.
Of course the play, Maricela said,
we came about the play.
Yes, this play, a play about death,
a play about unplanned arrivals,
a play about why we’re here.
Yes, Maricela said,
listen she said,
it’s a play constructed
of unfinished intervals
of dialogue and character
entrances. Indeed, Cruz said,
a play told in intervals
and by the time one scene or act
ends, another will come
a day later, and when the day
comes when it’s done,
that’s the day it will end,
Cruz said, Thor watching
with the green of his eyes
made greener by horror
or the ambiguity
of everyday things
now no longer everyday,
this beer, this pizza, his Lucy
eating, who said:
death? Unplanned things?

Consider the character
of Jacob in the play, who says
amazing things. Consider
his faith in such a thing as God.
Yes, Maricela said, he said this:
May God bless you and welcome you.
And a grand assumption, it is,
Cruz said. It’s essentialism
is not even an inference.
As, I broke in, an inference
must begin with something known
plain as a squashed squirrel
under a moving vehicle.
Which is consistent,
Cruz said, as a car must be moving
indeed for their to be any
likelihood of the murder
of a squirrel. Which is true,
Maricela said, but not
for Jacob, who can imagine
when God blesses, understands
indications of the granting of gifts,
and that God would welcome
someone in the first place
with perhaps hands or a few kind
words or the offering of a chair
to sit on for rest after, say,
sixty years of difficulties.
Or maybe beer and pizza,
said Thor. I think you catch
on fast, Cruz said,
as we were welcomed
and you were welcomed
here and offered beer and pizza.
Yes, said Lucy, beer and pizza.

Thor said, I’m a Christian.
Maricela said, No,
you cannot be a Christian, friend, Thor,
you can identify as one,
you may call yourself whatever
you wish for, an honest man,
a dishonest man; but it’s impossible
to be a Christian.
Thor, yes, he took the gun
from his pocket. Yes, he
took the gun from his pocket
(a slice of pizza hung limp
over the palm of his other hand)
and placed it with care
on the coffee table
and said, Lucy and me
is Christians through and through.
Maricela said,
I stand corrected.
Yes, Cruz said,
if you have that in your
pocket you may be whatever you wish.

here, here, I said.