Choking Out the Present, by Iris J. Arenson-Fuller

Choking Out the Present
by Iris J. Arenson-Fuller

In the City, where space
is a sought-after treasure
all living things seek out
corners or cracks to fill up
with prized possessions
or worthless clutter.

even the sidewalk cracks that were
once jumped over while singing rhymes,
have found their spaces filled with
migrant weeds escaping from
harsh confinement elsewhere.

their scraggly green heads pop up
to greet your beautiful feet as you
tiptoe around the dog mess, dodging
bold pigeons that scamper for bits
of stale New York pizza crust left by
Hansel and Gretel or a homeless dude.

now the rain teases our heads, foreplay
for the deluge that soon pours like
sorrows from my overflowing heart
as we kiss, then run for shelter, nodding
to the lions in front of the library who watch
me shake off the wet from my red shawl.

in my dreams, these memories pack tightly
into dusty old rooms I never knew existed,
soaking up tears, expanding like soggy bread,
they swell, they choke me into corners
where I crouch, crying the old grief away till
a new day wakes me again to reality.

your ghost still shows up after all these years,
spinning in white circles around my old body,
that you once loved, laughing, crunching leaves,
dancing me into a golden trance with your
hazel eyes and their subtle orange flecks,
that send me stumbling through the groundfog.

I wake and glue together the blurry pictures,
the far-away hum of ancient words that make
new mornings sticky with honeyed confusion,
wondering which memories are worthless clutter
in dusty frames, weeds choking out the present
without mercy.

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