Monday, July 21, 2014

Westcott Variety By Jasen Sousa (Elegy Poem for Thomas Westcott)

Westcott Variety By Jasen Sousa 

This man old, tries not to notice 
my translucent self trudge 
inside smudged store windows.  
I prepare to lock-up for the last time tonight 
as I have all the nights before.  An unbalanced clock 
has not told the correct hour and minute
since the last time my friend and I sat on a seesaw 
within an orbiting world.  Magnetic sounds that palpitate within shadows
have been uninteresting since fear left during adolescence.  
My arthritic hands are unable to reach 
into my pockets and pull out reoccurring laughs 
from the glory of our youth.  My apron dusts linoleum tiles
as I totter and struggle to box-up remaining items from the convenience 
store I have worked in most of my life.  Well-dressed manikins 
roam the streets without much to say as they pass
by my store like cargo ships on the night sea.  

This man old, and has buried 
everything and everyone
I have ever known in my life.  Blisters
and calluses cover my fingers in layers
like beds that have been made over and over
again without changing the sheets.  It is not easy
to give up your ghost.  Unwanted thoughts attach 
to brains like moss staggering up the sides
of apartment buildings.  The city I was once familiar with
sticks onto my ribs like ice in the deepest corner 
of the freezer.  Customers who have moved
into my neighborhood and shop in my store dissolve 
from memory quicker than vibrations from pennies flung
into my gratitude cup.  

This man old, like the sign outside my store,
like my eyelids, which appear like teabags 
squeezed around a spoon by its string.  I wonder, if customers
notice the picture of my friend hanging on the wall 
dressed in his baseball uniform, and the scar 
on his arm that he used to tell people he got 
from wrestling a shark?  I wonder, if customers 
realize that my friend walked around every inch 
of their city looking for the happiness 
which seems to come so easy to them?

This man old, and has witnessed
forever change into precious moments.  I have a difficult time
recalling my friend’s jubilant laugh and personality 
which let everyone in the proximity know he had arrived.  I turn
off the lights and wonder what is worse; growing old 
and not recognizing anything or anyone, 
or dying young without discovering
the rest of life’s cruel introductions?

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