76: coma, canto 23

canto 23

I urged Thor to understand
that it was beyond my understanding why
I found her toothbrush,
her creams, her combs
on the bathroom sink,
why suddenly foods
accumulated in the larders
and how Lucy would stand
and when I appeared the woman
with the tulip cup would wink,
say goodmorning, and resume
the conversation when I backed
from the balcony
and poured myself coffee Lucy had made.

he responded with the bottoms
of his prisonhouse rubber soles,
soon for dragging back by hard men
in uniforms who, it appeared,
had been waiting their chance
and the last thing he shouted
through the plexiglass:
I’ll hunt you down, Ersinghaus,
or whatever the fuck your name.
Hunt you down, god knows.
Sleep well.

Henry came and he held
Lucy’s hand at the couch.
They took a walk.
He giggled at something she said.
They pointed to Isaiah,
read the words from a small-print
bible and nodded, sharing
unbelievable truths.
Then the door to the apartment crashed
open and in came, no not Thor,
no not Thor, but Maricela and her
boyfriend, Cruz, or the other way around,
and my heart ceased
its sudden dash.
Cruz crocked down a sixpack
of something. Maricela clattered
out some chips and emptied
salsa into a bowl,
and she and Cruz said:
The play is over, Fin, over.
Cruz said, yes we sat
through all 54 performances,
watched it grow,
and it ended soly
with the words of the character named Steve:
Life is life, eh Monsieur?

I asked: can you turn the clock back?
Not at all, Maricela said. For time
travel is impossible. But I can
inform you (she brought up
a chip and crunched)
that the play is about guilt.
No, no, Cruz said (he brought
up a chip and crunched),
there were no guilty parties
to the crime, the bombing,
though there were suspects:
Steve, for example, Mdala,
yet another, who claimed
himself as target in the end.
No, I meant guilt or perhaps fate,
Maricela said, or the cruelty of suppositions.
But, she added, with her beer, Cruz
with his beer, Lucy with hers,
Henry with his, Henry seated beside Lucy,
and me with the image of Thor’s
loud rubber soles in my eyes
and a threat like a shade in the streets
wandering, weaving whitely
through the closepack of vehicles
between the road stripes,
seeking me here.

no, she said, that wasn’t the most interesting
aspect. You’re right, Cruz said,
no, for, we saw, on the last day,
when the lights went out
and we waited for something,
he said. Yes, a light
went on, a spot light bursting
the quite that follows all plays
once the clapping has stopped,
and a man with a ponytail
stepped into the illumination,
and altered the narrative,
yanked us elsewhere,
pulls us down another track,
loaded us onto another train.
Maricela said: yes, this man
with a ponytail came and took
us back in time and read us
new characters, showed us images
of those things that occurred
before the meeting of the original
characters of the play,
read us fascinations
of the past,
things prior to the bombing
and the blast off, this new work called
Coast Walk Diaries,
concerning revolutionaries,
haunted houses in the mountains,
haunted bridges in the mountains,
parents running and walking
through a world turned sepia.

Henry said, But I thought time
machines impossible. Not in plays,
Maricela said. Anything is possible
in plays. Which is correctly
said, Cruz said. Yes, yes, he said,
we will be returning for further
performances, as we’re intrigued
by the connections between revolutionaries,
bombings, and where, indeed, my favorite
character fits in it all, which is Celeste.
Yes, Celeste, Maricela said.

and so we ate chips and drank beer
into the night, Henry and Lucy holding
hands, Maricela and Cruz swerving
into and out and into and out
of their persistent lives
and I listened
with stacks of myself
accumulating amidst them,
imaging Thor, imaging my mother,
imaging Imelda, to whom I wished
I’d extended invitation,
and my father: I imaged
him at his desk, reading,
rereading, catching back
on years of meanings forgotten.

and I agreed with the Monsieur.

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *