*

I fester at my desk and refuse to do
the task at hand. Again, I am my own
worst enemy.

Reading in the Times today about a guy
who had a heart attack, I heard
my own mortality speak to me
in a clear voice not unlike a bell.

The coming days. Still all I think about.
Making plans but mostly anxious
I’m about to get caught out in the charade
of my imagined competence.

I am better when cobbling
something together or wrecking it
with my mute hands. Like Dugan, I’ll take
my own skewed walls and bent nails
over the clean lines of some
better builder that is not me.

I crave plain food and
the image of a particular woman,
walking away from me
or standing at a window,
one hand touching her hair.

I squander these long days of summer
gnawing the bone of my plentiful stupidity.
Jaw sore, teeth worked loose, blood
on my bruised lips, I refuse to quit
until I get
to the dark marrow.

*