Poetry Thursday: On 48 years, three Cokes and six hours of sleep (A poem in two parts)

I. (The part not for the faint of heart.)

I dreamed of demons
in the night

Not the green, horned kind
but the ones that plague me
while I walk, awake,
and still asleep.

Old, dead relatives
gathering in a too-costly
too-dark hotel,
all surfaces lined with plush fabrics
to dampen the sounds
that happened within.

One grandmother
sat resolute in her room
refusing to move,
no matter what

while the other
crawled the carpeted floors
on hands and knees,
searching for something
she had lost
while she wasn't paying attention.

My mother
scavenged free fruit
from the complimentary tray
in my well-appointed room,
because she was starving
in her poorish, noisy one.

(They're always that way
near the elevators,
even in the good places.)

And my father
paid for it all
but was not there
at all.

Finally, as my sister watched
from the velvet banquette
in the mirrored nook
of my sumptuous room,

I squeezed a hidden zit,
a "sneaker" zit,
tucked in at the top
of the nasolabial fold,
releasing a stream of pus
and blood
and hardened oils
so profound
it exceeded my capacity for disgust,
invoking only wonder
at my body's capacity
to harbor the unnecessary
so excessively.

it was magnificent,
although my sister
could have been a little faster
with the Kleenex
if you ask me.

II. (The part that is nicer.)

There are angels around you
that float in and amongst the demons
and are there, at your side,
for the asking.

Would you like to know
the secret code
that calls them to you?

Me, too.

So far,
it seems to sound
very much like walking up to a demon
and saying, "Hello, there,
my name is Colleen,
and I think it is time
we finally met."


Image by scragz via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.