by Todd Mercer
The ones who make it through the endurance tests.
And everybody else. The night watch and the sun worshipers.
News sensations and the people absorbing t.v.. The ones
who make it and those who fall trying. Push, pull,
cart or carry in the broken-down one. They’ll knock
a bit off the next payment book. Plan to keep paying.
The various crazies and the rationals. Internecine
cold wars, the social casualties. notable faux pas
with consequences. The mountaintop, the shining city
on a hill. The retired bridge-builders and the ones who fell.
The flawless idea versus how things tend to play out.
The lazy and the near-sainted. The elephant
in the rooming house. Paper-thin walls make for awkward
breakfast table conversation, later. Knows that knows,
but no one says so. Pass the motherfuckin’ syrup,
please. Thanks. Those who finally get with the program,
and those delight in messing up. The shiny people
you wish you were, and the people who want to be you.
There are some, actually. The bliss of partial information.
Greener-grass syndrome, a slow killer. The urge
to stir the pot. Don’t rock the boat, baby. Bring it in.
The national test, the global arrest record. The moment
in the sun and spots from scorched retinas. Floaters.
The long, tough climb. For the poise of an iron-walker.
For self-certainty. For a shining bridge over big water,
prayer for the bones in the concrete caissons.
Watch your luck. Keep your head together.