by Carolynn Kingyens
Comfort is cruel as still fruit
tucked inside the warmth of whicker,
left alone to the inevitable â€“
that bruise-brown rot dimpling the skin when touched,
or the subject of a novice painterâ€™s whimsical translation;
either way doomed.
Lennon knew about the addiction to creature comforts,
how it keeps us away from our best selves when he said:
Life is what happens to you while busy making other plans.
I imagine my father was busy making plans.
Now he is the perfect example of the potato –
preferring the confines of a couch over a car over a rolling stone
over the choices of some hot drifter from California,
whom I once invited home to dinner.
Like Jesus, he has nowhere to lay his head –
a lie told over the phone for affect, and, of course, it worked.
Everything the earth-smell, dreadlocked nomad owned could fit inside a knapsack.
The rest, he said, is immaterial. The rest, he said, is dullness
and dullness, he said, is a switchblade held to a throbbing throat during a soul-jack.
The drifterâ€™s absolute freedom irked my father,
bound to his loyalties: his dying mother â€“ material wife – a refi-mortgage – and me –
a lone wolf line of broken boxcars he could never escape from,
at least in good conscious.