Another Comeback Thought of Too Late
by Dobby Gobson
We had been told to watch what we say,
though it soon became just another thought
we learned to live with, like the memory of a lost dog,
or the idea of someday moving to Memphis.
Anyplace wamer, or maybe a little more tarnished.
Here the sunlight surrenders too easily,
collapsing back into the tub, wrists slit.
And though we know it's not our fault,
at least not directly, we still search
for a more friendly face in the steamy mirror,
wondering whether this really is best we could have done.
From beyond, dogs bray in their runs.
Planes rend the air with screams,
like muezzins calling the azan.
Such is the nature of the cold:
it never stops catching us by surprise.
We've lived with it a long time,
and it's been a long time since
we've been able to say so,
though none want this to become the new way,
just another of the possible ways,
which, as they pass, will never get it quite right.
This is what has become of tradition.
Despite what the docent says,
those Japanese sculptures were meant to be touched.
And then, suddenly, there we were,
once again left stranded, deracinated, too self-aware,
prepared to shuffle back into the only normal
we know, scaring the pigeons beautiful
simply by walking past.