The Abandoned Workshop

Terminally unprepared for public speaking,
the safety glass of my invisibility shattered by
the lasers of a hundred eyes focused in­,
what was beauty fragmenting into useless shards.
Simply one insult too many—and a dam breaks.

An optimistic self, then a reflective one,
next a determined one, others in sequence—
all start to unravel inside, springs uncoiling
in super-slow motion. . .
At first, glorying in the self-destructive
pleasure of their dissolution, then an
unsettled sour-smile appears as they spiral apart—
abandoning years of painstaking work
cobbling together a self worth inhabiting,
leaving a workshop full of little gears,
sheared, coiled metal lying on the floor.
Would anyone mind if they were just swept up,
instead of attempting to reassemble them?
And what to do with the parts that need to be discarded,
like old Kleenex, but stick to your fingers
even as you try to throw them away?. . .

Instead, what are the odds of simply
walking outside into the fresh air,
putting all the debris onto a little boat,
then letting it float downstream, the losses unmourned?
And what if this process took a minute instead of a day?
There’s something to head for, it seems.
Or is that just another distraction from what is true now,
another little boat stuck to clinging fingers?

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