matt pond PA

January 8, 2019

The Shortcuts of Solitude.

A frigid, naked foot awakens outside my blanketed slumber dome. The white noise machine and penguin humidifier, matching green lights constructing a runway to the distortions of evening.

My powers were never that strong, invariably accompanied by an extrasensory echo or delay. I could hear murmuring thoughts once the body had left the spinning barstool behind. Cracks in the red naugahyde, decrepit and warm. Vague, faceless feelings with no name to address or identify.

I might’ve met your mind after you were gone or before you got there. You were worried about the cat licking the walls. You were pretending to be a drunken spy. The fear of an unopened envelope or the blinding blizzard of a blank page. I was there for you at the wrong time.

These days, I fly low over cold ground to stay clear of the deviating feelings.

At first I heedlessly clipped power lines, no second thoughts, snip-snapping my way through small towns, the dragon tails sparked and flailed.

Now, I’m careful and slow in my innocuous crimes. The flag of my destiny is a black sock tied to an evergreen branch. Sailing alone, late at night, in and out of billowing laundry clouds, the sleepless and their quest for clean clothes. Snow covers white and yellow lines below, vague suggestions to guide the automobiles, while I flirtatiously deride the sublimating crystals building on my eyelashes.

We used to be proud of our weaknesses; our powers and their frailties were the foundation of our personalities, unedited, real. The flickering light behind my eyes used to make you laugh. As if I were ridiculous for being unable to follow your pointless, bewitching stories. The spills and thrills of an evening spent playing Scrabble on the washroom floor.

I keep flying with an eye out for the ice stumblers, the diner coffee drinkers, the sentence regretters, the midnight listeners. Apologists and the strange force of our unifying shame, unite under this crescent moon, release us all from this flimsy sheet of self-aggrandizing snow!

If I can stall the seasons, I can control my brain. If I can control my brain, I can grind myself into a better person. A conductor, a pilot, a nurse, a dictator of my own island country, plunging through the winter, drinking virgin piña coladas inside frosted windows, an elaborate coat of arms on my tired and wrinkled robe — so you’ll know it’s all official.

There’s got to be a few more feet of endless yarn up my sleeve. These words are my shroud. I undress them over space and time and dive in the half-frozen Hudson. I will withstand the grasp of winter.