The joke is only funny
when you don’t get it.
Today was like the others.
An applause sign gone haywire
flashing before the punch.
The second hand scraped the grime
the chimney sweep must have missed.
Hashtags filled our cups, their voices
rising like curses from wells.
Medusa was demoted to worms.
She slithered to the water cooler.
Put a drop in each little mouth.
Gave them names
like Jane from accounting did with the pencils
after the miscarriage.
Jerry wore his tie at half-mast
for the sprinklers leaking tears.
The hour hand crept and crept
like it had a throat to slit.
The police helicopter flew
as if guiding someone home
(a lost child or a couple new to the city)
its searchlight waving
long brush strokes over the east side.
tonight you might as well be a bedpan.
Watching you used to be
like watching the door to a time machine hissing open.
Now I look into you and see
a man who could fuck up a microwaved burrito.
You spam the air with information
even archive dot org wishes it could forget.
OCEAN: you will never ever understand what this life really is.
ME: It is what I make of it.
The last time I swam in you
I felt like a roofie in a gin fizz.
Looking way down into your lacquer
was like gazing up from a ferris wheel car
at the high point of its arc.
Back on shore
a dead seal exposed its teeth
like the moon was a camera flash
and it was saying cheese.
I dig your style
hours perched under the hot lamp
defecating on the New York Times.
How’s that view at the windowsill grabbing you?
Hope the mornings don’t get dreary
when the neighbors make the slow plod to the carport
shoulders up, eyes on their keys.
Try not to think about it.
once for carrots
twice for crickets.
Thanks for being the picture of chill
when markets crash and taxes are due.
I bet an earthquake could tear down the walls
and you’d be all,
Just put ’em back up.
Or have you read in the paper
about the ID chips and toxic clouds?
What about the people who think like you
in that sans-cerebral-cortex sort of way?
But if everything is all crickets and sunshine
what’s with you clawing at the glass?
once for snack request
twice for escape attempt.