Geekdom Honeycomb

– 

Alejandro Escudé

You thought it
was going to happen
sitting there—your Chair and you talking candidly
about the state
of the world, looking up at the famous nobodies
turned
somebodies over time, the green sports cushion
behind, the
standard gold trim around the high school gym.

Nothing
happened, no language invented, no fire in that one’s eyes.
No penetrable
discernment. In the moments that linger
there are many
options: you take the one that is offered
because you’ve never really been the go-getter, the
cement-hearted manager
or the
iron-throated soldier that rises up the ranks. 

On one of the
portraits hanging in the gym, a strong young black woman
in a basketball
jersey smiles, the Golden Gate behind her.
On another, a
coach, last name Cruz, poses in front of a wavy American flag
like GI Joe— on his jersey: U.S.A. Baseball. The superego
only gives flak.
Never goes
slack. 

Still another
portrait shows the face of a football kid you knew
back in high
school—you now working as a teacher
where you were
once a student. The boy killed by a drunk driver,
only sixteen
years old. He was not your friend. In his eulogy, the boy’s father said
all his son
wanted was for more people to go to the football games. A dying wish?
Multifarious
assertions. All of us, one wingbeat from deliverance.
A meal every
five to six hours. And still more portraits line the gym. 

In the field of
time, many elephants pass; throngs, legions, couples.
The moguls of
the present. One oil fire is lit, another goes out.
Skyscrapers
like velvet matchbooks, no tenants, only an invisible series of cash machines
pumping out
coin-operated angels into the hot black breath of the city night.

You have
entered the geekdom honeycomb—safe, finally,
away from the broken blinds,
one edge
cracked off so that the neighbor’s house shows, a jigsaw puzzle
consisting of a
single piece.

The tiny
journals do well to contain the worries that pound their chests like chimps.
They rattle
around in their cages, behaving more like cinema chimps than real ones.
The cages will
hold them to certain times, so you can sleep the sleep of fathers,
which is both
somnambular and unperturbed, a flight of cormorants
and one
interstellar bead pumping out red recesses.

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