No wind. No rain. No sound. No fear.
Cup your hands, and gather.

Raise your face to the sky. Raise your arms
to the sun. Arch your back--hush--
for the moon. Cup your hands.
Take your place. Take your share.

Here are moments, and instants. Here are
lazy white drips. Here are sticky, vanilla dribbles, slow and heavy and
pouring down like static.
Seal your lips against them. Wait.
Catch them. Close your eyes. Keep them. Make a wish.
Breathe, and gag on their sweetness. Drown, and drown and drown.
Smear the puddled moments over your eyes and over your cheeks. Be patient.
Cup your hands and strain to keep your prize. You can't.
Try and catch the drops on your tongue. Hold them there.
Rub the thick, wet moments into your hair. Anoint your head with time.
Let the warm, wet seconds trickle and dribble,
with soft, syrup sounds for your ears. Onto your shoulders and onto your back,
falling like cold, slow, monotonous snowmelt from your matted hair.
You are almost invisible now. The milky moments still

gather. They shine on your wet, white shirt.
They glisten black on your jeans and then almost soak in before the next one falls.
They glue your thighs to your seat.
They bleed back between your legs and you feel wet and ashamed.
Smell the lactose. Smell the sickly-
sweet vanillin. Remember the decay.

Harvest and smile and swim and spread the moments over every part of you.
Sweat them out through your pores.
Cry them out in your tears.
Cry them out--feel reborn.
Please, open your mouth. Please,

relax every sphincter, of your own free will, and
slow and slippery time will circle and tickle
and smile and slink and slide inside you.
It will squeeze right through you and it will never pause.
You will eat it, you will ooze it, you will bleed it
you will need it as if it were a natural thing. And you will die,
and you will be
drained and crisp and perfectly dry
and perfectly clean.

JDP 96/08

There used to be a greasy-spoon diner called Edy's
on the main drag in downtown Berkeley. It had formica
tabletops, smelly vinyl leatherette benches, surly waitresses,
bad coffee and great ice cream. It became a very sad place
around the time it closed for good. I was in there one evening
eating, and spilling, ice cream. The next time I went by,
the only thing left was the dead ivy in the window planters.

Copyright John D Porter © 1996

[List of Poems]