Page 13 Cartoons

The Singer

February 26, 2009

Keenan Timko

Do you remember the time

last fall when we sort of

remembered what summer  was

even though you said you were freezing

and my fingers were cold too

all that sweaty glory that

rolls up a pair of pants and forces

toleration of its groveling glare

casting shadows on a false sickness

I have given myself

whenever the warmness or cold comes

imaginary not seasonal

having been gone so long

you take her back anyway

as if you could not

but move back now

because that damn bus was so hot

or in your case because the end of a cigarette

crept too close to your hand

unable to keep your eyes on what you

actually can hold

if only your latest desires met

the things that move your arms

which move hands

and bend fingers

and excite minds

    even if I never am allowed the sensation

such as to touch hot pavement

that cannot warm any part of you

after you let go

as you press a cheek to its dark bed

parts of gravel stick to your face

and your cheek is now a

red sponge

and you do it anyway because






and that is what shortens the

leaps over asphalt

and what tames me ultimately

when the moon waxes and wanes

and time grows later and earlier

I find myself tucked away in a kitchen

stuck to the tile and tightlipped

legs crossed

backed up against an appliance

certain to fold

with as much gravity in my feet

as an argument

that eclipses all future reasons to make

quivers of nuanced pleasantries

after doom will happen

storylines or points of interest aside

I am a wry bastard

I will never pull that off

because pop stars should never

hold butter knives to vestigial clerical tabs

even if they appear to be a pat of butter

especially those of which they do not own

back behind the foyer where

I am not a motorcyclist


or stanley kowalski


    how would you even guess that

because I still want to make what was

left of the weekend bedlam

on this one occasion I might

and what you enjoyed while I was away

what early

hours of the weekday we may share

so we did

love or hate it


so we did

and I wonder what this would feel like

the next day

with so many storied witnesses

foxhounds of cubicle canards and tidbits

after the shiny puddles of awkwardness evaporate

condense on the ceiling and

drip drip on resting and untied sneakers

and the void of parlor topics is filled

making room

for what I am supposed to ask you all along

but should not

since we cannot

at least not now

so I will not

so we did not

and I never knew that a

    fishnet tank top
    tight white jeans
    and an infant mustache
    could make someone look so much like
    freddy mercury it was kind of ridiculous actually

how harmony followed you the entire evening

leaking some faint stichomythia of plucked violins

the staccato dialogue of your right and left shoulder blade

arguing with the same gravity that eclipses reason itself

then the chatter just stops

and the bow of your neck retires

snaps in submission

and you lie next to me

as surprising as to choke on the top of an eyedrops bottlecap

or another deadly simile

and to tell no lies your whole life

aside from everything you would do anyway

and all the no-truths

despite the friction of half-truths and tell-alls but

I half-expected from experience with myself to

skip the social cues and intelligentsias

and finally belong

however this languid crest forms

and I like the view

so as to stay at sea a little while longer

sometimes to reel in something else

sometimes something larger

or nothing at all

and you come alive in the sleepiest hour

I refuse

saying to myself

even not having seen those other cinematic distractions

I still could not have picked something better than

george michael

the singer

wedged next to you

we watch the deprecating jukebox babble on

his gossip column banter ricochets

around the room

and bounces back into his own ears

and he simply adores the sound

    I should give him more credit and currency
        • he was on to me
    • when everyone wrote me out  he showed up
    • with the tune on an untouched frequency
    • humming humming humming humming humming

humming humming humming then the static sets in


and he is over

I head outside then inside and

two familiar minds meet over the coffee table

and then run away in separate


please do not continue

I learn it takes a certain breed of friend to hop in the hole with you


I have been here before/

    No prayer or prescription will get me out

I have been here before

with you

time after time I forget it is where I have been

all along

and all along

it is where I will stay.

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