A Career
There is a guest in my reclining chair.
He is made of bricks, acid trickling
between them like blood.  At first
I was deafened by his silence,
then it began to make sense, tenor
bees sorting themselves from the drone,
I could use the words I was hearing.
He pushed me around with long white arms
that grew in all directions, taunting,
telling me I must become nothing
to love him, then hating me for being
nothing, trying to slap it out of me
like the last penny rattling in a jar
of change.  I hit back, until he
shattered in a thousand crumbs,
stale loaf.  No more cryptic stories
mummified in his nibbling mouth.
I stood up to leave, summers ago,
in a different room.  Wrinkles seeped
from the bed sheets.  He was on
the phone to a distant country.
I dealt him a hand of cards, and afterwards,
couldn’t speak even the simplest phrases.
He’d become my slave, in the dust
at my feet, I had to kill many people
to keep his attention.  The house was
no longer mine, no house was mine,
and in the chaos after the earthquakes
I saw him wandering, churchless, child-
less, and everything I needed he gave me
until there was nothing left in the world
but a few rocks, lakes.
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