this writing inspired by the National – their song “Think You Can Wait”
All I Have is All (after The National: “Think You Can Wait”)
On the bench at the temple, he sits. Bushel-barrel of apples and a large Igloo cooler out front of his legs.
Uncertain if he’s there or not.
Hair and clothes disheveled and dirtied, his movements: head in hands, fingers troubling beard as eyes gaze at sky.
It’s all he has.
And a convoluted memory.
Her voice, near the end, shushing “today makes yet another day without perfect love; one more irreparable day.”
The old man on the bus – listening, responding: “No, perfect love lasts an eternity.”
They’ve been away from the baby way too long.
A good night gone.
Now this: drifting, crying, seeking some island.
He’s slipping under with a firm grasp on a devil.
The clouds send him messages, he mumbles:
“Out of my mind,” “way off the line,”
“All I have is all.”
He doesn’t sleep.
Handing an apple to the child, he tries.
The exits are gone.
Though harried by guards at the museum and park, he doesn’t make trouble. Rolls his produce down alleyways, freshens his water from the public tap.
His mother: “You’ll never get better.”
Clouds: “it’s all you have is all.”
“Did I?” he murmurs, “did I?”
No street finds the child.
No door opens love.
Memory: her smile.
“Think you can wait?” he says
to the nothing
and no one.