Excerpts from Tandem
© Martin Wilcox
In times like these, we know to look for signs.
We don’t know how. Too much is meaningful,
too much not. So we read between the lines,
never the lines, and push when doors say pull,
distracted by the rumor in the glass,
which mixes what’s before us with the shades
of what’s behind. We need to let things pass
sometimes without a word. As life cascades
over thought, the shapes it makes can be learned
in time, if we don’t rush to naming them.
Then, if we pay attention unconcerned
by all the prompts to cheer and to condemn,
the signs will come clear at the margins, like
the sparks that shadow matches as we strike.
In the middle of the night
in a muddle from the day
for the things I didn’t do
and the words I couldn’t say,
I stand reaching for the wall,
hoping for the light.
I can never find the switch
In the middle of the night.
In the middle of the day,
recovering from the night,
I can meddle with my dreams
but I never get them right.
No matter what you do,
no matter what you say,
you can really lose yourself
in the middle of the day.