Freeze Frame

We call each other “sir” or “miss.”
We are actors and actresses-iss-iss.
Underneath the tattoo of a heart

are layers of skin and blood and bones
compatible with a real and beating
t-ta-ta-ticker, but this design

is beautiful.
It rises and falls with an inhale and, phew,
an exhale. A puff of gray lingers

in the air while a mile away
at the local gym, forty-two people sculpt
in a common medium. Some

have their own tattoos. Others, their own scars.
They speak and they sing songs of this.
They are actors and actresses.

(org. 3/18/07 rev. 2/11/09)

A Balancing Act

You’ve been cheated by artificial
colored-in, old black and white movies
and that forgetful part of yourself
that left your bag on the public bus
to travel without your guidance.

Though somehow while purging
in every other area of your life,
from keepsakes to long-time friends,
you managed with food to only binge.
Then each night while sleeping,

surrounded by household pets
and flattened pillows, comes the same dream
in which you have never been anything
but elegant. Waltzing though grayscale
crowds until each member’s cheeks

are flushed with rosy tones and their eyes
sparkle for being allowed to be in your
presence. You are young and vital,
without blemish or scar. Your clothes, a second
skin against your being. No thoughts

of binge nor purge, only a balance in an even split
and a perfect three-step. Suddenly the band
throws down some jazz so you switch
to tap in shiny shoes. Your clothes change
to cool tones and the cool cats stare. But

when the next song blasts its beats
Booming. Booming. Booming
from every direction, you awaken
from a dreamworld startled to find that you’ve left
the entirety of your music library

to find its way through shuffle mode as you look
around your ordinary bedroom through
blurry, blinking vision, the strongest feeling
flowing through you is your terrible worldly craving
for cookie dough and the entertainment network.