Not too hot during the day,
and still cool at night time.
Which is the right time,
for those of you keeping track.
Max found the note in a tupperware container
that the neighbor had left out for the feral cats.
Who wrote it?
It was crumpled like it had been thrown out.
It looked like her handwriting, he thought.
Then he realized how silly that was.
If that was her intention,
she wouldn’t leave it on a crumpled piece of newsprint.
Picked this rose in remembrance of you.
And the sage flowers with a splash of blue.
For the sad I feel thinking of you.
I know it’s over, but I can’t stop wanting to be true.
I just can’t undo the years of holding and having your back.
And I can’t bear the thought of some him with you.
What’s clear is my lack of emotional maturity.
I’m a teenager again,
reverted back to a pot smoking adolescent.
Hanging on your every word and action.
Embarrassing but true.
“I scratched my hand picking roses for you.”
It was a lie. The cat had done it.
It was also code for,
“I hurt myself trying to get over you.”
Which really felt drama queen pathetic.
It was self-inflicted,
still, he knew he was just playing a role.
And it was a mediocre performance
because he was aware that his script
lacked for something.
Suddenly it came to him,
two turntables and a microphone, that was the answer.
Max was half asleep on the couch,
watching a rerun of the Dick Cavett Show.
A fat Orson Wells was the guest
musing about being visited by “the black dog”
Churchill’s euphemism for depression.
“Hmpf” he snorted at the tv, “What does he know?”
Petting his little black companion,
inbred and manic.
He reached down and took the rock
that it was chewing from it’s mouth.
“Not the brightest in the litter, were you?”
The pooch licked his face
and dug his head into his armpit.
She had engraved the knife
As a one off trial
To see how it played.
The irony was lost on her.
She’d left it behind.
Now that she was gone
And Max had the house to himself.
He could leave the dishes
And slather “happiness”
All over his bread.
Possibility is best served toasted,
I liken you to a janitor
The way you mopped
The floor with me.
Closed the door on me,
All the while
Saying you adored on me.
And I liken you to a cold syringe
The way you needled me
Infected me with a virus
That protected me
Until you rejected me
All the while
Smiling on the other side
Of the door.
Ophelia was frantically packing all the things
that she could justify as being hers.
Which was basically everything.
After 15 years of marriage,
Max was left with the toaster
and 4 plates.
In her haste she threw away
on unopened bottle of dipping oil.
What you might have on fresh bread.
Max took it out of the trash,
why let it go to waste?
She saw he had saved it
and threw it back in the garbage.
Rather it wind up in landfill
than with him.
“Parking validation is for three hours.
Personal validation is also available upon request.”
It was a joke, obviously, the receptionist had made before.
Max took the parking ticket.
He was thinking of a similar joke, but not for him.
There was a more attractive
he was hoping for.
Fortunately, her shift had ended.
It was over, but how to extricate himself?
He held on tooth and nail because he loved her.
But also, because he was afraid.
She was his bridge from fringe dweller,
sleeping on the floor,
living in a house, sleeping on a California king,
driving a car he wasn’t ashamed of.
It was the summer of the lonely cicada.
Silly insect miscalculated and came out too soon.
Instead of the deafening chorus with all his brothers,
it was him alone.
Singing for a female who was sound asleep.
Max felt the exact same way,
born in the wrong epoch.
Longing for times of Tommy gun simplicity.