Je Ne Sais Quoi: A Poem

To snooze? Two gaunt men–the one
I visited yesterday with bones older
than mine; the other, today, my age.

I wish to make a gift of my fat. I
have more than I need. Yes, but
the mysterious laws of this planet,
do not permit it.

If masters there be,
in India, or in the Himalayas, who can
teleport themselves, or snap their fingers
and will their fat to vanish–
to varnish–
as that daydream just now,
a lady with gold lipstick,
a gold nose ornament,
skin like the basted, crispy skin of thanksgiving–
still–what good
would that do us? my friends or me? We
who are uninitiates?

Two or three thoughts converged like hounds
under my bathroom vanity halo.
Shadows for a fox–
a tail snapping dog–to bite on.

A cur,
cursed or blessed
by discursive-
ness.

The first was my lovely’s
reminiscence in Ethics class : her glass
house shadows yesterday: an elder
she’d known in better times, who’d
forgotten her own name, who she was,
who the student was that cared for her.

The second: What’s so funny about
Dean Martin?

The third: the time
when our school accountant retired to
the john, was discovered too late
for our good counsellor’s attempts at CPR,
and died–when the "I" like a tether
drew me up short or served
as my blanket–I stuttered in silence to
myself, "I’ve never seen that bloody blue
eggplant head, that shadow of death, before."

The fourth?
Just shoot me.

Do Not
Resuscitate.

Is death less sacred than life?
Are we not living/dying?

Who wants to be around–

when the I wakes up and somebody
caring for it has to make a game
of the slippers, the bath, the toast, the tea,
the Telle Tubbies on tv–when this
je ne sais quoi self

I no longer know
snaps & smiles,
and no longer thinks,
Aren’t I a contender, too?

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