The endless breath of memory until my lungs explode
and shards of passion and longing burst like fireworks
into my subconscious where my cleaning crew
rush to sweep self-loathing under rugs.
But the Persians are already stained and cannot hide
anymore mountains of repressed guilt and shame.
And besides, says the Sweeper, do you really want to forget?
So I let the slow motion continue to play and replay
(as if I have a choice in the matter)
and heat and tingling wash over me once more.
And again, and over, and so on and on,
when suddenly meaning creeps in
where it's always been from the start,
and the reply takes new form.
It becomes the commercials the original show had
only full length and Oscar winning.
As I lose my now to what might have been,
the Sweeper leans on his broom and joins
the dream and popcorn and soda appear.
The screen darkens to nothing
and surround sound sends in reinforcements.
So an audio front on all sides brings me
to my real fear, and the Sweeper listens along
to that time of the touch to my hollow,
when words reached my need and filled my longing,
as shared stories mixed with playfulness baked cookies
for me to swallow … until the obsession lets me go.
Then tears overcome the mask of shame
and the Sweeper makes a hasty retreat
while I melt into a puddle of what is not to be.
Never have I felt so much joy and pain at once
and plead my case with If Onlys and Maybes.
But they exit me muted as the fire screams
and the spit rotates and I'm roasting
in Never Wills and Don'ts and Moving Ons.
Surviving only because I take responsibility
for my actions and thoughts and …
snap goes the bough breaks and down I fall -
to reality, and common sense …
more like self-preservation.
So I fired the Sweeper and bought more Persians.