"Table Twelve"

by Jeph Johnson


table twelve,
I'm at the rack,
another night alone
I miss my baby,
so I go back,
back to writing poems
poems that weep
sometimes don't rhyme
but by tapping my feet,
I'm at least keeping time
and right around the corner
from these complicated dreams
hides a simplistic memory
that's better than it seems
for it displays the contrast;
vivid in my mind
images from a more contented time
unlike the shadows
in front of me now
parading naked,
cold and distant,
hard to disavow
she's getting older,
but her memory's aging slow
so hard to hold and so hard to let go
once again
I'm at the stage
sitting by myself
desperate to act my age,
I sit at table twelve
spitting out dollars like an ATM,
pretending I'm someone else
bombastically shouting "carpe diem"
while begging her memory for help
but cries can't travel back in time,
so the tranquil calm remains
buried far beneath my prime,
overwhelmed with pain
I now rely on lurid dreams
to redefine perfection;
try to replace
the view that seems
lost with her recollection

Author's Notes/Comments: 

circa 2000 

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