Say he polices the yard.
Say he notes everything out of order.
He will see the man with M.S.
In the motorized chair by the crosswalk
The curb too high for the wheels, where the water from the lush storm pools
By the side of the road.
He will see what doesn’t belong in Heaven.
Say he swings the car around, speaking into the radio as he arrives.
I’ve got a white male here in his late forties, early fifties
in pain all the time.
His sleep and breathing have both made deals.
He presents as if he is accustomed to it
as though it were in his blink, his bones.
The man looks up as the cop arrives.
He responds to the pepper spray of deep and thoughtful questions.
Pain drives with me in my wheelchair on the highway
It is as ponderous and committed as an elevator door
Closing. My sigh does nothing
to ease it, but gives it a song to sing
Similar to the creek’s voice under the ice,
The cop replies, kindness wrapped in broken down leather shoe intuition:
Sir, you don’t seem to notice
that pain you were just rolling down gold streets with—
that’s cordoned you off from friend, relatives,
From the phone, from even being able to say, hey, lend me a hand?
because it’s a one-person exclusive venue,
don’t you know.
If you are bent from it, it’s been so long
since you’ve straightened up
you don’t even see the glances from worried angels.
You haven’t had an entwined conversation
for a long time.
The man can’t leave. It’s a cop.
But he is just belligerent enough to whine:
But who needs friends, relatives, phone calls,
good posture, worry-free looks from passersby, or angelic peace?
Everything breaks. People disappoint. We all eventually go.
The cop breaks up the monologue with a billy stick finality:
Your perspective is one from the hollow point at your throat,
where the bones knit;
Your speaking-spot, for several years. You miss you
Even though you don’t have the resting-spot or the schedule
Or the inclination to get to that.
Hey, Mister, he concludes. You’re missing where you are.