I recognize myself least this week.
I don’t think about writing, don’t care for it,
I think about God is Love
and mint it on my copper-nickel
eyes where no great faces are minted,
no great women I loved, no mothers or fathers,
no one of any great history,
just you, Lawrence, sitting beside me,
on the precipice of drunk, not yet folding your face into itself
to cry about a wife who is either dead or long gone,
and we talk about faith. We talk about machines
that create machines smarter than themselves
and you say it’s either that life or the primitive one,
it’s either machine gods or sun ones,
and I can’t disagree. More and more I stare at the pyramids
on mars and think Donald Rumsfeld is the leader of the reptilian race.
More and more I am my father’s daughter, reading about the Illuminati,
Mayan prophecies, signs of the end of the world,
more and more his wife says I am the “well-balanced” him,
as if we can create beings smarter than ourselves. E pluribus unum.
Lawrence, you are an old drunk,
but so was I once, or something like that, stumbling everywhere,
into everything and into everyone. I can sit with you Lawrence, at night
in the park we are Occupying, around a fire that sits
on a grate, with Alan off his meds screaming that he wants
candy for his nephew. Alan’s eyes are wet pennies in which nothing is reflected,
not his nephew, skinny little child who stares up at him
and slides his cold little hand into mine. Alan is crying now,
and I pretend to know how to help someone,
touch the puff of his jacket, give him a slice of pizza.
I have cried like that because I am afraid of my own fear.
I bet you, reader, have cried that like too. I saw Lawrence do it,
I’ll see it again. The world is burning, they say, and I have
a distinct feeling that the final battle will be fought
by two people looking into each other’s eyes.
Chelsey Weber-Smith is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia’s MFA program in poetry. She also writes country music and travels the United States. She has written and self-published two chapbooks, a travel memoir, and two full-length folk/country albums. She currently lives in Seattle.