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Poetry

Another Hand

by a.h.s. boy


I need another hand
and twelve more hours in the day.
For all the time I've given away to strangers
and the white shirts and ties I've
refused to wear -- and I've grown,
I know, I've grown by days and 
weeks and memories I could make
movies from -- for all the recordings
I've banished from my turntable 
because just two notes can bring back
sixteen months of lost romance,
I have the respect of privates
for their generals, the loyalty 
of universals in the constant
disobedience of the singular.
I need more sleep and less 
information. I carry a library
card and a pillbox full of caffeine
and I dream in full motion,
in the middle of conversations
with best friends who only want
some attention and an answer to
the question that defines the
destination of a car ride they took
because they needed to drive --
anywhere -- and the traffic lights
stop cars but the mind keeps moving.
All the thoughts I've juggled
ended up on the floor, where the dogs
chew on them and cats bat at them
with curious paws and lose interest
as they roll under the sofa.
I'll find them again
when it's time to clean house.
And dust them off and try to remember
where they came from and how
I can weave them back
into the fabric of everyday life.
I've given up on domestic affairs
and clean sheets, atomic clocks
and things that go bump in the night.
Time is dirty and silent and
home is where you shut down your brain.
All the missing pieces from the puzzle
of the last fifteen minutes come
flying back at me like Chinese
throwing stars -- I had a book
of knowledge as thick as a phone book
and my lapses in thought cut
straight through, and the loopholes
of my emotion lassoed the pieces
and yanked them out of reach.
There's broken glass on the street
where a work of genius 
should have been.

I need another lifetime to write
my biography so that someone
gets the story straight and then
another lifetime after that
to deny the whole thing. A
faster car and a shorter distance
between things I want to do
and things I've done. I could use
a good dictionary to speak in
fewer long words instead of
lots of little words that are
hard to follow. And could I speak
to Dr. Seuss, who made rhyme
so subversive that no one noticed
and corporate television forgot
to censor it? I need a job
that pays me in overtime and
free access to international
newsfeeds. Friends that shake me
up and down, sing me to sleep
and scream at me to wash the dishes.
Third arms get amputated
and half-days just beg
for more time. 

 

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