She said I was a baboon
dangling without a vine,
but I’m a crayfish stranded on the land.
I will punish myself today
for my regrets and future errors,
the accumulated consequence
of antithoughts and indecisions.
They’re meeting on the twenty seventh floor,
mostly humans, while I serve refreshments.
The other crayfish will be jealous.
I overhear their exhalations,
… yesterday we futurized our
retrospective planning …
… research neutron micro-stars
to power all our upgrades …
… no competitors, where they’ve gone
is quite the mystery …
I serve the tea with difficulty.
I’ve been searching
for my glasses for a week,
or someone else’s,
so I can find my contact lenses.
I’ve walked the path of pebbles riverside,
heard tales of other worlds,
their beguiling mysteries,
loved and unloved, cared
and uncared, found life
a mathematical maze,
a laughable equation, stretching from the whiteboard through a window, to be pecked by birds above.
It explains why something
in the end is always nothing.
It’s written in the language of the crayfish
and yet …
I’m a trifle puzzled now. They’re staring,
whispers round the table.
I stand before their whiteboard,
before crustacean symbols
in my orthodontic hand.
Did I think out loud?
Tap tap tap, a diamond stylus
on the marble tabletop. A casual word
from the chair to her assistant.
He shuffles though his paper sheaves.
You have a unique perspective … Simpson.
I’ll expedite your severance pay,
and let us speak no more of
A few lines here were left out of an older poem Day job and they appear in the comments there. Orthodontic handwriting: letters such as n m u w, or
n m u w with braces.
nothing on the horizon, detail above