Even Invisible I Go With a Bang

Imagine an oversized clock
strapped to a man’s barrel chest,

his hands clutching a bomb
like a bride and her bouquet.

Watch him walk
the crowded aisle of a train

running behind schedule
and a child

counting down the seconds
on his bird bone hands–  

this is how I pass my days.
Of course,

my wiring is off
just enough not to explode.

If there is one old woman
soiling herself at the cafe,

there are a dozen others
who smell it and won’t crack a joke.

Unless they’re nose-dumb
I don’t know how they stay on track.

Right now I’m struck ridiculous
with hunger, too famished to finish

writing this letter to my friend
who is dead anyway. I stare

at the floral stationary
while I eat chip after chip.

I’m sure one measure of depression
is appetite, it’s absence

or double-presence.
Either way we suffer

this flavorless existence. Love,
while you were at work

I cleaned the living room windows so well
the most adorable sparrow

charged to her death.
This, too, I cleaned.


by Michael Schmeltzer