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PITY'S PROZAC

The subject was the wheelchair.
Here we sat so far apart.
Head to comprehending head.
Missing toe to missing toe.
The cavity beneath the sky was
one that's hit a pocket wind.
I felt like Jello bouncing fast
in bellies of a crashing plane.

The stewardess was fate, of course.
And we were drinking pity's wind.
You were fifty.
I was sixteen guns of fire.
Saluting what it was to dream and
sail beyond like clipper ships
with destinations of a smile.
You were young enough, I thought,
to drink the foam of tragedy
and live to spit it out again.
Fifty isn't over just
because you have a missing limb.

Somehow I was jasmine tea
that offered very sweet replies
of reciprocity in faith.
I showed you mine and walked
the halls like elephants in circus tents
that lead the show without a choice.
I think it's best explained with this:
I was horny for a life. And you,
my friend, could feel the pulse
like undertows beneath the waves
of something called an inner-voice.

      — Janet Buck