Theorize Plainly – A Poem


Theorize Plainly

Theorize plainly as our masks cure
and wait final inspection
on a work bench in the garage
after we dipped them into the steel vats
to absorb the memories
we collected
and stored.

There was a movement during
a brief interlude at the theater
last night.
The fifth row was curiously emptied
as a precaution.
None of them seemed to mind
as we
for our own security
have become accustomed
to tyrannical demands upon
our forsaken liberty.

But this is too much. I know.
So let us contemplate other matters.
My mask has a forked tongue
and a ragged
broken nose
and yours has bright tendrils of color
snaking out about the eyes
appearing as
twin suns.

Walking home from the theater
an old woman who carried
a sequenced purse
handed me a clover saying that
the dreams of her mother
and her revolution
were trapped in the third leaf.
She did not say
what was in the other two.
I pressed it into the book I
halfway between pages
seventy-four and ninety-seven.

Why do the masks that we made for ourselves
not seem
to fit right?
Almost as if we made them one for
the other.

Do you remember that morning we woke
to the sound of ice
cracking the firmament?
Tattered frail the small pieces fell
to the earth
as small
translucent pebbles
and green
melting and coloring us and our world
and forming small rivulets
that swiftly streamed by
as we pondered the significance of this
new theology
that was born before
the sunrise.


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