For example I'm out of touch with the contents of my kitchen cupboards. The few shelves I can easily reach are crammed with stuff, and I tend to forget it's there. I just found a package of cookies I didn't recall I had. They are quite stale. I think I might have bought them over a year ago. With luck, eating them won't make me sick. If they do I'll probably know by the time I wake up today (no, I haven't been to sleep yet) as I just at two. If I don't toss those two up I'll eat more in the morning, or whatever time I wake up, as I finished the last of my donuts Saturday morning.
I could have walked down to Grocery Outlet to get more donuts Saturday afternoon— or maybe I couldn't, as I felt like crap all day. I certainly wish I could have done it, as cookies, especially stale cookies, are not an ideal substitute. But the days are hot, and my energy shot, and the world full of viral threats. But what the hell, maybe I'll go this afternoon. Though probably not. It's pretty clear my energy fades a little bit more every day. The world running down, me running with it, slower and slower. I'd sure like another donut before it all stops, though.
by Richard Jackson
I’ve read the stories. They stalk me like thieves under
a tattler’s moon. All I can say is how Odysseus treated me.
I know his stories were like graffiti of light spread
across the harbor’s surface. Like you, his author thought
our peace meant weakness, but he didn’t. He stepped into
our dreams. On shore he was a stump of naked salt
the sea slapped into the dunes. The sky was hooded,
and then there was no horizon. I thought he was a god.
Näive, when I brought him home and he lied to protect me,
I hardly knew what was at stake. And the truth is he could
hear, in the timbers of the rotting ships, his own brain
shrinking with age. Everyone is his own mask. I caught
his words with the rainwater in a pail. He never meant
to hurt anyone. He knew that inside each flower another
love waits to be discovered. He knew that beneath each
fallen leaf a war is raging between bands of insects.
History isn’t progress — it’s just the wind we tack against
only to stay in place. Isn’t that what Homer knew?
Isn’t that why Odysseus ship carried him home to some
wife, and why it turned to stone back in our own harbor?
Like you, I think he knew what would happen. We are
all statues for what we used to be. There’s no reason
at all to tell you any of this, except that your own words
have turned into equations. But then, not even Homer
understood him. Now the trees are gloomy. The guilty
evening puts on its gloves. These last few hours squat
like beggars under a cypress. In the end he wanted to
carry this place away with him in the holds of his ship
as if it were our prized goat cheese and wine. His life
had been all waterfalls and stagnant pools. No book
can tell you what he meant to us. Like us, he carried
his loves and crimes inside his breath. Like us. His words
flowed over me like water from a broken levee, but
there’s no way, even now, I can reveal his one great secret.
My own heart is full of wells gone dry. Am I still naive?
Yesterday will always be entangled in my hair. The world
will always smell of salt. Fog and shadow, shadow and fog,
and yet we all keep questing for the one unattainable
shadow of love we know will always betray us in the end.