Last month all the metaphors were suspended.
They took a leave of absence. They went on a
Vacation. They left no forwarding address.
They hit the road. They were gone, mister,
gone, and for a long time nobody has been
a breath of fresh air or a long tall drink of water.
The stars have to settle for being just stars.
Nonetheless, the street outside is clogged
with taxis whose drivers started to take a shortcut
to the airport only to discover
that the entry ramp to the bridge
had moved somewhere two blocks uptown
and the pattern of one-way streets
had been changed. So there they are,
shivering like a congregation of yellowjackets
surprised by unseasonal snow, and
honking like a field of migrating geese.
And all the while I'm still sitting in this room
looking out the dark windows, ignoring
the whiskey on the table and the ivy on the wallpaper.
What's going through my mind? Not much.
I'm just wondering when the figures of speech
will be coming back to town. Will they still
recognize me? I'm still pretty much the same
as I was when they disappeared, only
a little different around the eyes.
Spillway, 11 (2003): 19.