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We have difficulty noticing gradual things
The fitted bedsheet slipping off its hold
A back becoming wrenched
Or just the sidereal feint to the looks of aging
Saddled with chores and afflictions and the small porous joys of being us
We only see what we have to
Or want to
To get by or remain hobbled behind
The drape’s slight tearing
The loss of hair
The sag of skin
Crushed toenails and tendinitis’s aching accretion
The glow of youth dimmed to a weary gray
Things only seen in pictures the way they were
Before time tore through them with greedy snips and pinches
While nobody was watching
While you were busy ignoring irrelevant occurrences
Lush with an hour’s pull away from its components
Perhaps daydreaming backwards
To a when that held you captive in its Jell-O mold
To a restful easy distance that played havoc on reflection’s picky sight
Changing a tire on some frontage road by fig trees under the runny saffron in highest of Lebanese skies
Not pondering the difference between notions and ideas
Not willfully scarred by handheld deceptions slowly slipped into the void
The skidding goes to a cradled thump as dust does nothing but gather
You see
And your batteries were inching along towards a complete shutdown the whole while
The percentages of loss and recovery’s slowing arch are not countable things
And so shoe bottoms go slick and holy over ragged urgings of a carpet’s wear
A guitar string struggles towards the verge of snapping
While goose feathers fall to the comfort of down
While peaches spoil and entire fields go barren with a season’s change
As you are left wondering
Where summer’s gone and fled to
In the apex of a month’s sole capitulating note
Surrounded by previous and next
Waiting to happen and then leave again and again
While the sprinklers do their duty
And the old man in the yard shakes his cane at the neighborhood troublemakers
To get off his fallowing lawn
This plot of needless vegetation that’s just for show
Unable to comprehend those tawny spots’ regeneration from bare to fecund
Until the green goes from weedy to mowed over and over
Until the refrigerator hums its final buzz
Gurgling and gasping to itself like some sputtering Cassandra trapped in the garage
Before anyone has a chance to care about its plight
Ignoring the steady decline
Of what it had been telling us all along

Your cigarette has gone out

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