Winter Voices (sprung from a tongue)

A Poem By Ben // 1/15/2006

Bought you a winter scarf
You wore it outside
Like something alive
It gave me a start

I suppose
Winter never fails to mark our faces with desire.
I never felt it more than when I saw you carry in the fire.
They had shown every place to you to prove they're all the same--
They washed your hands with chemicals and said chemicals do not stain.
But tramping in, your hands were chapped and your wristwatch was set wrong.
The heaviness of gathering wood must have gathered you along.

Along. A long way. I long to go a long way. Will you walk along with me? This is how dancers play. Some ballet dancers might say, "Do you? Do you want to play? Do you want to join the circle? Well, we can't stop. Here--catch hold of my hand. Catch it, hold it as we pass. That's your in. Your in. You're in." And then you dance along.... But what about your own song? When you dance with them is your own song gone? Own song gone? Gone my friend, sprung my wren!

WRUNG till the last water molecule falls from the towel, it fades in your hand like the finest soil, chalky, magnificent. Can we harness it? We who live in a pluralistic age marvel at the singularity of time. Time brings us back. It hooks us, crooks us, and laughs. It calls us our memories. It turns us back to ash.

"The last act happened," he said as I sat down. "Now we're waiting for it to begin. Do you see that man up there? Wearing the clownish robe? His name is Alvin, and he keeps us patient while we wait. He's not a real man. Not exactly. Just a robot--but he might as well be a man. His heart experiences emotion, and he remembers all the facts of life better than we do. In fact, we love him and throw him our money while we wait."


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