Folie á Deux

by | Poetry, Winter 2023

The cabinets are emptied
For a newer catastrophe. Signals
Slide across the musty surfaces.
Reports filter through the wood.
A handsome man touches my mother
On the shoulder. Anonymous pigeons
Wash their wings in the slow wind.
Someone wanted to ask a question.
The handiwork will be saved for a fresher,
More durable season. For now, becoming
Is always an option. Sources can be found
In the gradual sky. People stale like scones.
At first just a few, a partner or two, a sibling,
Then the taste of everybody is not what it once was
Like the taste of Honey Nut Cheerios is not what it once was.
Longing is standardized. I apply for myself
Every day. Language doesn’t care for or about.
Items return to their shelf-life. A feather drifts past, interred
In weight. Redundancy and bitterness
Left along highways. Motivations stall. Features
Grow extemporaneous limbs. A new smile
Will be required for admittance. My mother
Asks for a gin and tonic. The loving man
Jumps out the window. Maybe I screamed.
Then a flash of hands. The hands fall like hail.
So many severed hands, falling. Who knows
Where I’ll begin tomorrow? Yesterday begs
For rigorous terms. The hands crawl across
The clean kitchen floor. The craziest faculties
Remain concerned by my rate of progress.
Someone is standing outside the door,
Just standing there, like a peacetreaty. The containers remain
Emptied. The gesture is all that counts,
Right? But the occasion won’t change,
Won’t give us an inch. We need room
To craft our smiles. And all these fucking hands
Skittering in and out, up and down. Somewhere
Plans wait patiently. Birds on a wire. My mother weeps.
She’s become too attached to sleep. Now
Every waking is the latest trauma. I offer her a box of Honey
Nut Cheerios, because I want to eat my fingers instead.
She eats the box, leaves the cheerios. No news
For the record. And no new products to think of.