It starts as trivial blips:
I pull up the mail key
to lock the front door;
Refrigerate my wallet
and pocket ketchup packets;
Answers get longer
when strangers ask questions
and I find myself talking
to myself in paragraphs.
Then the echo sets in.
Interpret that how it suits you.
Some hear reverberations.
I see mine.
She's smirking at me, naked.
These days she doesn't respond.
I ash into a tray
someone made for me
from stainless steel.
I'd say "a friend"
but you have to be a friend
to have a friend.
It's all about the spiral
and how to end it
in my sliver of reality
where reflections look
less and less like what others see.
Even the father and husband
I claim as my brother
cringes at some of my antics of late.
There's an odd vulnerability without mountains
so I live in the shadow of one.
Every morning and every night
it groans at me through curtainless windows
picked by the last person who knew me
three years ago--to the month.
Even she wouldn't recognize me now.
I'm paying the price
for what a little bird told me.
My father would call it a snake
though I prefer the secular cliche.
A consistency I'm fond of:
I've always lived in river towns.
Come Hell or high water
I'll be that fluid Pisces.
The moonbow doesn't cackle back tonight.
I spit when I type, not when I talk.
That hotel laugh in New Hampshire
is the last time I was happy.