5 Poems of Unfinished Emotion

I
The Final Hour: A Prequel
(for Nic)

There were no patrol cars
with sirens on
when he was rushed to the hospital
& deposited at the charity ward.
There was no spokesman
to speak to media
about his medical bulletin.
There was no high-priced team
of medical experts
to monitor his condition.
There was no personal doctor
who flew in from San Francisco
to assess the procedures.
But there was the steady stream
of visitors
clad in cheap shirts & maong
to sponge bath
& keep his body from bed sores
even if the mind was a blank screen
that stored no longer
memory bytes of his via crucis
with workers & peasants
& the torture at military camps
where no guard
could count his spirit out.
All members of his social class
kept vigil around Nic
who slept like a fallen Viking
stretched out on a raft of flowers
floating.toward the ocean.
Because he was
a brother in arms.
Because, most of all,
he was a communist.

II
The Sufferer

A vein burst
on her forehead
& swiftly like thunderbolt,
the hands of the reaper
closed her eyes
so she could never suffer
more than she had
in her lifetime.
She was fearful
of so many things
like a child
puzzled by the universe
& sons & daughters
who kept slipping out
of her grip.
Was she finally spared
the pain & dread
that attend mortals
who’ve incurred debts?
Did God know
she was his mother
who bore his insolence
silently?
O she, who was pacifist
& of pure love,
passed on quickly, gently.

III
The Young Mother
(for Grace Conception)

She’s into her third month,
& her face radiated
a plenitude
expectant women would.
But was it Schopenhauer
who denounced the herd’s claim
to immortality
by reproducing the specie?
Most true logically
but she couldn’t care less
about the grim philosophy.
She’s looking for a unit
that will shield her child
from noise & dust
of her old community:
Her future is in her womb
& she would function madly
if it suffered like abandoned humanity.

IV
The Nihilist

Terror has no ground rules.
Everything & everyone
on the road to Arcadium
is expendable
where winning itself,
even its promise,
is phyrric
& zero valuable.
Simply the game’s to score—
children & women disembowelled
& men lined up against the wall.
Everyone’s anyone:
victim & executioner,
this violence to disprove violence
Bush & his gang
map out they could turn off & on,
No one controls
where a handful
brags they hold the world.
O Mephisto & sufferance
are the modern inheritance!

V
The Girl in the Bubble
(for Camille)

She didn’t finish her pasta.
She’s thinking of friends
somewhere
& the idle talk
courteously repeated
is the thrum of imagined rain
in the searing season—
monotonous, incessant.
She has cut her hair
& looks younger than her mind
ready to grasp the bull by the horn,
then kill time at student Union
to keep the old man from intruding
in her soul’s conversation.

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