you’re driving down a street you’ve driven
for years  you turn right onto another
you’ve also driven a hundred times
or five  but your mind is sifting details
the shoe laces you need to buy
or the garlic  or the meeting
you need to get to  and suddenly

everything is different  that church
looks familiar  but it doesn’t belong
on this corner  and why is there a left
here too soon (it’s not right) and why
is it only a left when it should be a crossroads
and what’s this: “One Way
Do Not Enter” — it’s always gone
that way of course — but not here  not on this
safe and common street so suddenly

unfamiliar  the answer comes a saline rush
through the cells  uncomfortable warmth
reminding of when you were your son’s age
and the girls’ snickering glances clued you in
very slowly to the knowledge
that your fly was open — or younger,
and worse  the rush that came in the night
outside your skin a scalding
voice that woke you suddenly
reminding you
you were too old
to wet your bed  but now
you’re too young to be
making this mistake  too young
to wake up out of the ordinary
to discover that suddenly

you really don’t know
where you are  this will be death
you think  not so many years from now
a road you’ll turn down
where everything you see
you’ve seen before
but not here  not like this

this time the one-way signs
the do-not-enters will be behind you
telling you there’s no return and up ahead
where that right turn ought to be
a flood of light or maybe darkness
it doesn’t really matter  suddenly

none of this matters because

this namelessness is calling

calling down the long empty street
a song you’ve always heard
a song to which

you suddenly
know the words.


Filed under poetry

2 responses to “Suddenly

  1. you have to be a famous poet or something because i totally love your work. i hope i’m not coming off as weird fanboy but youre my poetry idol.

    • Thank you! No, not famous at all. Infamous, maybe, with a select few. I’m not sure I’d even want to be famous, but I wouldlike to be better known as a poet, which is why I started this blog. Thanks for coming here. Please bring your freinds with you.

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