March and April
grey dawn across the city when
i remember the death of my brother the artist
and his little cemetery plot in onion creek
and how he played harmonica
i see a hawk following my car down the interstate
it soars over me then dips below the hills
the morning in april when my brother was born
and the morning in march when my brother died
he was not yet 20 years old and since that morning
more years have passed
than he ever even lived but
he will forever be older than me
in my mind and of course
more intelligent and worldly
and skillful in all things
i saw a heron tiptoe through the shallow
part of the lake on this powder morning
it moved and then it was still for longer
than i could maintain focus
it seemed as if it was frozen there
and could remain so forever
completely outside time and oblivious to my aging
today my love for you
is like a balloon blown up
really big but also
that isn't exactly what i want to say
i saw two squirrels playing in the lawn
and thought of you i saw
a squirrel on its hind legs
shelling and eating a pecan
with its little hands and
i thought of you
the sky is blue and it's sunny
this summer day and i will
ride my bike to work today
i put on a blue short-sleeve
collared shirt and my whiskers
are a little long and i felt excited
because i thought i looked handsome
i hoped you would think i look handsome
because i only experience myself
or at least my strongest perception of myself is
thru the lens of what you might be thinking about me
and i imagine what you might be thinking about me
all the time.
The idiotic letters I wrote in response
To her emails with their "insightful" portraits.
Her commentary on all these prominent figures
So elegant, so intelligent.
I fumbled back overwrought praise and ideas
That were half-formed at best but she
Humored me and pretended my ramblings
Were meaningful and that is how I knew
She liked me more than other people.
On the Las Vegas strip we were talking about
Meeting in person and how that differs
So much from meeting people online.
The lights from the casinos winked off and on
In the otherwise complete desert darkness.
I stood alone in front of colored fountains
Leaning against the balustrade.
I peered down into my glow screen
Tapping out a message
"Let's not meet. Let's just
keep it this way."
Wallace Barker lives in Austin, Texas. He has been published in Neutral Spaces, Reality Hands, Back Patio Press and Philosophical Idiot. More of his work can be found at wallacebarker.com.