Tomorrow at Ten

Christmas, 2010 / No. 25

I’ll have a problem walking in. Beyond that,

I’m good, my heart a dull little apple learning

to swagger like an eggplant, just on the inside.

I’ll be wavering on a street corner, caught

in someone else’s tourist photo and framed

for a desk in Italy. Over there, the convenience

store has one toy, the Electronic Gorilla,

“Funny,” but guaranteed to be bellicose again

and again, throw tiny chrome arms in the air.

What heart can it have but one the size

of a peanut, reserved for toys and dictators?

A man starts each day descending to the basement,

stands a full minute with eyes closed, his back

to a wax Jack the Ripper. With this, each day

is a bonus. Heaven has too much sparkly shit

each time he pictures it. It’s all about being alive.

An explorer hollers into a squall, her placement

on a particular cliff edge the product of one

slightly melted compass, one dented heart.

A Belgian man is in a coma twenty-three years,

conscious without anyone knowing, dreaming

his own comfortable jungle, the click-clack

of a stretcher, his favourite metal insect on the wall.

We are what we repeatedly do, Aristotle said.

And people have been saying it ever since.