FOURTH OF JULY IN HANDCUFFS

by Jeanne Sirotkin


You strangle your future as easily
as if it were a baby
I condemn my silence
You know anyway how it will end
stoned on some mountain top forgetting past lives
seeding some else’s garden
You put a map on the wall and throw a dart
The place it lands will be home
You were a faith healer before
encouraged by disbelief
What this country needs is more honest skeptics
I take the fetus from my womb and transplant it
The child grows next to the melons and zucchini
She becomes vulnerable and delicious
You feed and water her while I travel
Something was lost
if I could remember what
I would find it
I leave every stone unturned
I avoid haystacks
Our paths keep crossing
My feet get tired but
Yours never stop
looking for pictures in the stars
for paradise in a slough
I never understand why
I wake angry some mornings
or content the next
or sleep with eggs under my pillow
or a madman in my belly
or a damsel in distress
or a rocket in my pocket
or your hand on my breast
or a tune over and over
that says – you knew it before it began
and will know it again
it will make you happy and it will make you sad
and there will always be someone anywhere to hold your hand.