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I think I’ve forgotten how to write.

Poised above a keyboard

reaching for just one of a dozen thoughts

to capture even a single frame

each darting by –

gray and intangible,

as if my focus could not




So here I am, armed with a third cup of coffee,

a pile of half opened deliberations

creased into bookmarks,



tucked into a wide white pocket

writing about how I cannot write anymore.



My fingers— charmed into self-assurance

Tracing intersecting stains into perfect rings

As if to reassure the wood



It’s not that I used to have such profound thoughts

and suddenly have deadened.



On the contrary

they were more-often-than-not

tritely existential,  

too proudly compassionate

written with the candor of a young scholar

balancing cynicism, optimism, and reason,


        by the notion

   that I may consider

what does or doesn't matter,



about the meaning of mattering,

and the mattering of mattering.



Until I have been immersed in mattering,

By a role most inconsequential.

Un-pretty-un-poetic- awkward-flustering-nearly-always-lost



Watching the rise and fall of a rounded baby belly, shaken into cerebral oblivion,

jarred by the shrill of the monitor remembering

Awed by toddlers whose bones break and bend and bruise  

Begging for a sticky purple popsicle

Who become children

chasing cars into streets, tumbling out of trees;

To teenagers whose dark eyes cast nooses as they roll,

Into young mothers, hair pulled tight,

Too thin or too thick, painted with worry,

lipstick, and cigarette smoke,

A sleeping number to the hip, another tugging, screaming at her shirt,

Dulled by paint chips, cockroaches

        coughing on air heavy with smoke and smog and violence.



I think those are things that matter.



But here I am, wordless, paging through manuals

Dense with impressive language, surely

I should find a formula,

Highly regarded, double blinded, multiphasic, systematic   

Explaining this hierarchy of mattering

Fashioned from rules spun by egos, debt and deprivation,   

Transiently occupied by people named “the ruptured spleen” and the “epidural in room two.”



Here is where I begin forgetting.   

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