f r o m t h e m a n t h a t d o e s n 't e x i s t
D A V I D F L O Y D
--after Karen Cassandra Burk's "To The Man That Doesn't Exist"
You are alone at the Hollywood Diner
in Delaware on X-mas--no snow,
only the memory of white like an echo
trying to repeat itself.
I'm trying to wish myself there
next to coffee and paper placemats,
not knowing the difference
between wanting and needing,
thinking I might be served up
with the food of heartburn
and soiled spoons. You are writing me
on two-bit napkins.
If this were happening, I'd steal a skull
and crossbones ring-you could wear it
around your neck on weathered lace.
I'd engrave your name in my arm
with a rusty blade, carve verse
on a box elder, initial it with X.
If this were happening, I'd want words
to ebb from my tongue like bubbles
of rain from a catalpa leaf;
I'd want my words to be like twigs
that take root and sleep in dark soil--
awaken as branches for sky--
with earth still clinging to their uprising.
© crossconnect, inc 1995-2005
published in association with the
university of pennsylvania's
kelly writers house