Cold Coffee

Intending only to drop off a story sobbed dry
of more than memories, I arrived at evening,
and arose to leave on the dawn
of erased promises of freedom.

That’s the sum of several one-act plays
under the heading of “Adultery,”
the reviews of which, of course, led to divorce,
separating me from a son, twelve years young
and already delving into the worship of dust,
the past.

Our recent ritual, every Saturday, starting at noon:
A repast of bread and blood, semi-relaxed exchanges,
reposing questions that ask about regrets, and whether
I should have let the woman with periwinkle irises pass
without pausing. . . . can only guess that Heather, my estranged,
put him up to this.

I could attempt to blame a coffee-stained mania,
the aftereffects of which forced me to stay awake, then still,
lying like a passive lake pondering a name-change.
Making blood from honey—The vain result of stirring her hair,
playing unfairly, sharing early chocolate through an afternoon
of diversions reversed. I’ve been there;
and I fear he’ll arrive.

No matter what apologies or explanations I offer,
he’ll only see a mad-at-wife, dead-to-life, unbothered father
whose single lesson to his son is that, when he’s old enough,
being a man means one must maintain a conscience
like a clean
and half-full glass
of cold coffee.

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