May 7, 2008

Passive-Agressive Pacifism


There are shopping carts in lines, and
kids hiding in their makeshift enclaves.
When Walt sighs aloud, he is shifting the
burden of blame onto his wife, his children
and, in finality, the whole chickens thawing
in the basket adjacent to his ice cream.

Walt can fly. He can flap the tiny wings
at the ends of his mustache and lift himself
above the fray of shoppers and managers--
none of which know just why Walt can fly,
but he knows. He knows and he knows and
he decides to fly without frills or filler.

Walt will become accustomed to his skill.
He has placed his hands on women and
rubbed dogs' bellies and slipped under cars
discreetly to change their oil and walked
out of jobs without warning and told his
mother she was full of shit and apologized.

The other shoppers will be amazed-- mouths
agape, arms dangling, apples rolling slowly
away from their unclenched fists, eyes wide.
His wife will whisper "true" into the cashier's
ears and his son will nod approvingly as he flies
untowardly toward the edges of stratosphere.

Though he's bought a house, placed his feet
on strangers' coffee tables, sexed in his dad's
washroom, destroyed a computer monitor,
learned to cook proper short ribs, and slept
through the beginnings of a war, he has never
used his power of flight until just now, just now.

And as he raises his arms, the milk splashes
out to the ground with a thud like birds ne'er
heard, ne'er heard. He is going to show them
his unfettered brilliance and he will do it for
everyone who has ever wanted to condemn
themselves for their choice of off-brand tuna.

He will do it and it will rock the foundations
of want, the confluence of absurdity, it will be
the penultimate perfection in his life-- the last
being the one time he realized why he couldn't fly
until just then. He was waiting, waiting, waiting
waiting, yes, until he was Walt, nonetheless.

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