Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Two Dimensional

by A.K. Jackson

I’m lying on my bed again
only now it is not made up
with my bloodstained, pink sheets
or anything flannel. Its thin
and white like the hospital bed.
I take a shower early in the morning
and my hair is wet with someone else’s
shampoo. I go back to the bed.
I take the game pack out of my gameboy
and turn it upside down.

All the Pokemon come falling out,
growing in the oxygen, leveling up
to be big. They are flat,
like colorforms. You’re flat, too,
just a notebook page away
and I can see your hairline
in the black and white photograph
from high school sophomore year.
I can’t see the safety pin
in the webbing of your hand.
Your hair, red, falls into your face.
Your angle-nose, thin lips,
not randomly generated face.
You have some DNA in you,
have your daddy’s look sometimes.

Maybe I will lift back this sheet white page
to see your face as it used to be:
no scars, no AIDS. Red hair and freckles,
turquoise eyes. I lift it.
The air has made the photograph
too big, the pixels are crosshatched,
your lips blending into your chin.
Your eyes are little black and white shapes––
not even circles. Circles with sharp edges.
This is not you, not you before, not
a single color or smooth to touch line.
I cannot smooth your hair because it is not hair
or you. I stop. I drop the page again.

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