July 17, 2008
And he asked me for help
a sweet favor rather than a chore.
Like a child showing you his scraped palm
wishing you’d hold him and kiss him where it hurts
And though later your arms may ache from cradling his hurt
what does your inconvenience matter in the face of a child’s need?

He called and so I went to him
so he wouldn’t have to sift through sparkling confetti
to find the truth.

And everyone was there in that place where he needed me-
but no one really mattered.
There was nobody as fresh, as unblemished as him
or as old, as bruised as me-
The echoes of their laughter and splashes of their tears
hollow and invalid.

Like when the world is a movie-
people extras on a set, playing chess and drinking wine
carrying out the essential irrelevant minutia
Nothing here is real except the clashing
of the heaviness in your head
and naivety in your heart.

And as you wander through the halls of his need
you see everything through a fogged glass pane
It is a museum of humanity in which you are a mere spectator
always and only
because touching is not allowed nor desirable.
The clammy plastic of these posing people is uninviting
And the sweat of your working hands could harm the specimens.

Though it is limiting, you are resigned to your distance.
As you are a figment of tangibility in a world of deception,
only you can read yourself,
and you are consumed by this deciphering
while everyone else is laughing, living
They are cotton candy fluff:
Sweet, but fleeting.

You feel as though you would
suffocate on the perfumed air they inhale,
preferring instead the taste of your own breath,
stale with knowledge but organic,
it reminds you that you
are alive.

And so you don’t hate these sugar-breathed people:
After all, you want to help him
and to have him.
In spite of
Or perhaps because of
The fact that he is on the other side of the glass
but inviting-
A contradiction you’d like to be a part of.

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