My early education, at the hands of Dominicans, informed me of all things possible and impossible right out of a few pages of Plato's Phaedo, set down over four-hundred years before their savior walked the earth. As far as I may wander, I am pulled back to those few tenets: the transitory nature of human existence, the necessity of denial, the tensions of extremes, the hope of the sublime. I live in Tucson with my wife Jane Catherine, a watercolorist, and with our dog, Irish. My more recent work has appeared in The North American Review, The French Literary Review, and others.
It's not like we need to go
to the Institute for Psychic Research
or anything. You are, after all
someone's else's dream, so I can tap
into that. Here, it can happen right
here: earlier this morning you thought
of a relative, or someone missing,
experienced the quick grip of anxiety
& have scar tissue somewhere on your body.
Your son drove my Mercedes 130 mph.
down Beechwood Avenue. I know this
for a fact. Do you want grandchildren?
A friend of mine was accused of infidelity
by his wife. He claimed it was her fault
for suggesting the passion bracelet in the first place,
the one that would re-energize their relationship.
After all, it was a balmy day and they were strolling
hand in hand through the mall when they found
the stand and inside the glass case was the bracelet
that would change their lives. It was incised
with symbols from Atlantis, made of zinc, copper
and tiny magnets to transform those ozone ions.
It was all too much, he explained, too much to control.
Passion does not know direction and that is why it is blind.
He asked for understanding, sympathy, time,
and while his wife was considering late that night,
the passion bracelet glowed when he went outside.
Sleeves at THE 13th STEP
I drop by after work. Not all the time,
not to be obvious, only when I know
Kari's on. If Guinness is $5.00,
I give her $7.00 & she thanks me
& smiles. That's enough.
No it's not. I want to know about
the sleeves. It took weeks to work up
the courage to ask. They're the places
she's been, NY, PA, NM,
& the shapes of the states are connected
by the vines of some oriental flower
because she wants to go to Japan.
There's a pod of pink dolphins
arched in ocean waves on her bicep.
"They're endangered," she explains, "like me."
There's the heart her father never had,
& of all of it, she says, "It's me.
It's who I am. Even if I get old
& get Alzheimer's some day
at least I'll know who I am."
©2015 Michael Gessner