Between the zeros and the ones,
a paisley tablecloth is spread, and atop it
rest white lace napkins, the yellow butter and
the butter knife, the wine glasses, the teacups,
the water jug filled with ice – a mundane scene
whose colour scheme is a little too uniform
to be organic.
Realize this, but do not panic. The teapot
is still hot! There is still sugar in the dish,
still milk for your drink, at least. And your guests
arrange the conversation so beautifully,
as if it’s scripted, as if that’s their duty.
The television in the next room
blares static into the air, or if you’re lucky
airs the soaps.
The situation grows, from sprout to shoot
and hardens in to bark,
so you dodge trees to chase
a quickly uttered, unconsidered, throwaway remark,
wondering which devices may come in to play
to force the moment to its crisis;
if, indeed, it will get there at all.
Flowers wither in their bowl and
the tea begins to cool.
February’s icy darkness falls
and still every action sets like molasses,
starting strong but slowing to static;
a disposable day.
The night responds;
the showers of palmetto fronds
knock together to produce
a single note, and in the wind
a cacophony of sound’s evoked.
Somehow it means more
than the voices you’ve heard.
Flowers bloom for a spell, like the
mottled siphon of an octopus
that pushes out filtered water,
opening their petal-lips to the sun
and basking in the pleasant weather.
Everything here is a butterfly,
a one-week fretting spectacle,
eventually left to whither, and die.
Where is the drama; the scuffle
in the streets of Verona, the Greek myth
wherein I am the hero? There should have been
a strike of lightning, an epiphany.
We sit with scones, the clinking cutlery, the
conversation of the bourgeoisie,
no longer waiting, but rather sinking comfortably
into life between the zeroes and ones.