Dead Plastic Christmas Tree

Taking down my Christmas tree

(In the middle of February),

I found a stack of papers

Lying in the dust all over the floor.

I read them (they were poems)

And vowed never to write poetry again,

For they had no sense or feeling

And stirred no pains,

Thus telling me they were dead.

-

I took them to the kitchen, wanting to dispose of them,

But a poem spoke to me

In a raspy voice of a dying person.

-

'Why?' it asked, and its rightful question

Made me pause on the way to the gallows.

-

'I tried,' I was sincere, 'but the ink

Would dry before I could have finished the thought,

Finding it better than to weep crude tears

Over the mediocrity of my words.

What good is a poem if the words don't rhyme? So I thought

And I kept trying to make them rhyme,

But the only rhyme I got was 'grime'.

Give me the words, I prayed, never heard before!

Bring me the taste and the scent, anything

to make my lyrics palpable, make them live!

Alas, they went into a cardiac arrest

and chose to die under the plastic Christmas tree.'

-

'Where is your pride?' the poem asked.

'Where is the voice that screamed, hurting the throat,

'I am the best! I shall conquer the world!'

-

'I was destroyed,' I told it, 'by the Beauty

that took a breath through my lungs,

and made them expand like the first inhalation

does to a newborn child.

I was reassembled. I forgot

Delusions that I'd had, cast over me by toxic waste in my mind.

I replaced those carnivorous illusions

With unadulterated arousal

At the sight of his sleeping naked form

Amidst the jungle that we created in our bed.'

-

'Our bed!' my ruthless friend taunted.

'You say that like it is a good thing.'

'You are ill,' it cautioned. 'I shall diagnose you!

You are in love! And you are about to toss

your freedom into the bin with us.

Love is a murderer, I quote from your words.

Love silences all the arduous urges

So brutally, unquestioningly, and chops your head off,

For you don't need it anymore!'

-

'I am in love,' I deigned it with an honest answer yet again.

'And should I say I've never been in love before, I'd lie.

But Love is not the Beauty I had spoken of.

It is but a destination; the road itself

was no less satiating.'

-

'Peace now,' I declared.

-

'What am I then?' the poem voiced its final question.

'Am I not poetry?

Do I not have taste, or smell, or feeling?

Do you not bleed your ink out to compose me?'

-

With that, I could not argue,

Sitting at the table, a sheet of paper covered in messy writing in front of me.

And so I twisted the chord of Christmas garlands around my neck

Like a glimmering scarf,

And laughed at the guile of the words

That clung to life as much as any human would.

-

I let them live.