Skipping the Reception
by Dean Young
I don't really want to meet Burkard.
Just because I like his books.
He's probably disappointing in person.
I know I am. In person you have to commit
to what comes fumping out of your mouth
like popped ketchup. John suggests
go bowling so as not to say anything.
I know a woman who takes off her blouse.
All good ideas. Even with old friends,
you end up in used bookstores inspecting
old typewriters sacrificed to decoration.
Making your way across the parking-lot
ice. We are not monkeys! Throw something
down hard enough, you discover its laws.
We are not brains in big pyrex jars
connected to the generators running
everything although we try to talk like it.
The sound of the crash barely reaches us
so it sounds like someone else's problem.
Precious moments of life ebbing away.
What a pathetic thing to say. How
did we get on this subject? Do you
have a cat? Is this shirt ugly? What
are those marks on your arm? I don't think
my voice will ever emerge from the center
of my chest. Here's your fire extinguisher,
welcome to the glacier.