Everyday bad things happen, so-
I’ve drawn you a flow chart
to take you from point a to z
with arrows to the short cuts
so roughly won by me.
Let me help you jump over ditches
and avoid the dead-end streets.
Watch my greatest hits of
heartache, thought addiction, faux pas, shame, fear, regret,
so you can save yourself the trouble.
Look, simply, I can help you
avoid the ramifications of not heeding good advice.
I didn’t even know I had it in me, as non-linear as I can be,
to map it out for you, but I did; I’ve a crash course on not crashing.
But I’m being asked another task, much different than what I’ve done.
The night now asks me to have a courage I don’t know how to muster –
I’m now to be the watcher and not the player and not the coach.
I’m now to calm my plotting mind.
I’m instructed not to imagine trains flying off of their tracks
even while I feel the lurch and screech
of the metal momentum – see sparking in the air.
I’m to observe as boats sink, as elevators release and fall,
as villains creep most uncartoon-like in dark shadows when you pass by;
who orchestrates such visions – where are the views of nature walks, of laughter,
of joy? Why the fear, why the wrecks, why the destruction?
Why am I thinking of how my parents must have ached and quaked
sitting in hospital rooms, listening to white coat protocol-
except to release a real-life child to death, to unthinkable death.
I mouthed the words but I didn’t register the meaning –
because I’m still on the simpler fare—
that love is holding the tongue
and squeezing my own trembling body while
I watch and allow.
I am unable to live for another,
unable to undo words,
unable to iron out the wrinkles
of the kinks forming in the plan.
The night brings what the day allows me to hide.
The learning is only ever mine
and it can only be postponed, never avoided altogether;
now or later is the only choice I get to make.