The others

They know it

As surely as they know the condition

Of your glasses, your fixer-upper house; as

Surely as they see the milk-blue sky

Upon waking each morning; as

Surely as I use the hot wax

Of your birthday candles

To possess my skin in small welts

Stinging red blisters,

A circle, a crescent moon

On the back of my left hand

Henna of my own making.

My paste is slick

But dries and hardens with the quickness

Of your resolve. You must be the one.

You must be the titan

For your brothers and sister

Are foreign, green, and flabby

Suppressed with their private diseases

Of taxation and time

And air-plane tickets

Half across the nation in tattered urgency; no

They are unable.


It is the stone in you

The grey and blue and kacky;

Your patients, zombies of the trade,

Cling to the stone in you

As if they were tossed to turmoil

By the closing of the Red Sea

And you were the first solid barrier

They hit. Now she will need that

For in her tears she will be a giantess

Towering and wailing without support---

You be her earth, her sandals, her bones;

The others will come later for the

After-affects of the storm

Glad that the duty was not theirs.


But you must go now

Fold your glasses, ready your arms,

Tell her that her second husband is dead.