December 10, 2008

paper due six years ago

never absent, never late
is the sort of award
I could have never won
forget about it,
you're doing dishes

she said
and I'll take care of it
so I hide and put pen to paper
a paper due six years ago
a letter I should have sent right upon arrival
but I just didn't know better
stop, rewind, start over again:
clean head, clear mind, silly laughter
it's been six years now
why would you be waiting?
life goes on but I am stuck on you
there's no way you're going
a hamperful of dirty clothes is waiting for you

the silly laughter and then she grunted something else
and then I had to stop doing whatever I was thinking
I was doing
stop, rewind:
it's been six years now
and I'm still stuck
I'm running a house but I'm a mess
I'm always absent, always late
why don't you just shoot me?
don't forget tomorrow is mom's birthday
and please, darling, Xinto needs to be walked
at least three times a day

randall m. brown (Washington, DC, 1974)