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Janice Slater
Not the affirmative
'I don’t want to walk around the block and face another night in solitude...'

I don’t want to find out that you’re engaged, imbued in, lost to someone else somewhere you’ve been that’s not to do with who I imagine you to be.
I don’t want to face the trees that I felled and drag them up the path that’s sometimes an obstacle race of ants.
I don’t want to face the present moments clock that beats on rhyme that reminds me of the past when time seemed to run in parallel lines and endless time to build a life.
I don’t want to walk around the block and face another night in solitude munching on lettuce; which by the way I enjoy to munch, dripping with olive oil, virgin at that and that other one with the omega 3’s that takes one back to the sticky little bottle made of glass that threatened cod liver dosages.
I don’t want to fill another page of writing with words that ramble where’s the poetry? The flights of fantasy? The blue black nights with Harbour lights on ferries, the first journeys into wet kisses to flying hair and arms around one another. The name lost, the face but the enveloping arms still signifcant like certain authors, poets, persons whom one can hide under layers of the survivor of this and that, that occupies too fixed a place while the pithy, the darker course, the not so well lit, so easily relied upon to come up with meeting one’s expectations yielded up the feisty stuff; like the grain that gets under your finger nails when you brush the dirt off a pitchfork that’s just speared a spud.
I don’t want to not want to find what resides there at the bottom of storm water drains and at the bottom Harbourside swimming places, the grit that troubles one’s shoe enough to untie the laces – I don’t want to not recall the Velasquez, the Goyas; in the Prado – I don’t want to not remember the ‘surprises’ in Paris and the silken woven shawl someone I loved brought me from Venice or Florence?
I don’t want to have to pull out the vaccuum cleaner and observe the change in attitude that pales in comparison to the slight degree of indifference in the state of the carpet after I’ve pushed the plastic suction head back and forth.
I don’t want to spend another moment averting my gaze from all of the incongruities in my mind and in my surroundings that assert they would be different if only the means would surface.
I don’t want to not remember other days when those close to my heart still were alive; when they too sought after each other’s presence to make meaningful their world; when that far from perfect world inhabited their minds.
I don’t want to forget their eyes – the life wherein they found themselves without choices that would give to them; return to them their outlived youth they would grow old; and yet they kept on giving.

© Janice Slater 2003
slaterbenten@hotmail.com

 

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