Charlie Brown in the Dead of Night
By Melanie Jordan Rack
This howling makes me shiver, but it ought to be beautiful.
I wish he would stop it. And you're out there, too,
little girl, smiling over sticker albums and apple slices.
Who is it takes care of us? Who mends trees
when their limbs crack, who thinks of a question like that?
I know worry is a way of filing, but the folders are too long
or too narrow and none of my frets ever fit. The space
around my head at night is easier to work with,
blankets piled on top of me so I can barely see the rise
of my chest. They don't mend them, that's who.
I don't know which is worse, the barking or the silence.
Tomorrow, maybe, I can win your eye
with animal crackers or a pencil with sparkling foil clefs.
And what good is that, the blessing eye that might not see
me surrounded by autumn's energy and nearly bursting
with rhapsodic blood? It's a lot to look for.
There's a lot to see in people, the way they hover
at the edge of knowing and oblivion, the way they keep on
clipping hair and making appointments, clocks with hearts.
It's definitely a tick when I see you, your dress smoothed
over invisible knees, tick the way I feel you know me.
I've danced with girls before, swaying lightly back
and forth, just on the edge of what it means
to fill my body, of being poured in like wet cement.
Then worry filled up my shoes, but it was almost pretty,
a haze like sundown or chiffon before I had to sit down.
If life is a series of escapes to the punchbowl, I want to ask
out loud, is this it? But what kind of question is that?
I'll be fixed tomorrow when the day is mine, opened up
like the white cream of a cookie. Keep trading
lunches and mittens with me-what is love but one
big cloakroom-because mine is the longing
of a Hercules let loose, mine is the fear of a burst
oil candle, bright with flame and dim with the rupture.
He'll keep it up. Until I'm out there barefoot
with flashlight and dogdish, or until sunlight sticks up
unruly, ready as a willing head waiting to be combed.
Quickie, we've had company for dinner and movies -- Moon, which we hadn't seen, in which Sam Rockwell is great and there's thought-provoking commentary about commercial extremes, and The Poseidon Adventure, because Angela and her hubby had not seen it and we figured it was a good night for religious allegory.
My only other significant activity was a review of Deep Space Nine's fairly silly baseball episode "Take Me Out to the Holosuite", which is not as exciting as the Orioles-Royals ALCS game that's going on now! Here is Daisy's opinion of all the coming and going in the house; more tomorrow!