Always Tomorrow – 2018
I wrote this poem for an open-mic on 02/21/2018. Read it, posted it, got it out of my system.
It’s gotten to the point where I watch people do things
Instead of doing them myself.
Last week, I watched a cooking show
Where a chef with salt and pepper hair
Fried onions, carrots, that sort of thing,
Then went outside to gut a chicken.
He tied it with a white rope,
Closed it’s white wings,
And snipped its throat with a pair of scissors.
They didn’t show the blood,
But they did show the feathers
Stuffed in a clear trashbag
Red on the ends like you could write with them.
Hell of a pillow fight.
Last week, a woman dumped me for the fourth time.
I bought dry, red wine from a convenience store.
I went home, locked the door, closed the curtains and clicked the lights off,
Put some music on so my roommates wouldn’t hear
and watched Cam shows for two hours.
One girl had a mole on her nose
And two others talked about back-pain.
I felt myself filming them.
I tipped five dollars and they talked a little more.
Then they took their clothes off and I got bored.
Last week, on the way to work, I hit a deer.
Its hoof broke my windshield
Tore off and stayed there looking at me
Like an arrow.
I thought I might die, but I got off with some bruises.
The deer got off too
And later, a cop told me the animal was running through the city
And they had to put it down.
He said ‘mercy’ and bought me coffee at the station.
Sanitation crews cleaned the mess around my car.
Last week, my uncle died.
I didn’t know him.
They burned him in a big oven
And kept the ashes.
I think his urn is on my mother’s shelf
And I know they poured some of him in the sea.
I skipped the service.
Instead, I watched the news
Where they burned brown bodies in Syria
and white guys argued intervention.
The men were worked up on their podiums
Sweating like Damascus
Red ties tightened.
It was pretty bleak, but entertaining.
Yesterday, I bought groceries:
Chicken, onions, carrots.
Someone else had cut the onions
Into perfect white squares
And someone else had sliced the potatoes.
The chicken came in slivers too,
Pink and gooey like a fat kid’s underwear,
And it looked nothing like the white bird dying
Or the red hot deer
Or the bare back of a woman I’ll never see again.
I cooked the meat in oil and it’s own juices
then stewed it all together in a big black pot.
It cooked for hours.
I tasted it:
The stew was bland.
I scraped everything into a trash-bag
And ordered out.
Gareth Livesay – 2018