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2010-03-08 - 8:33 a.m.

Two Poems Inspired by Alice Walker's "My Friend Arrived" and "The New Man"
"I arrived"
I arrived
your acquaintance, now your friend
And he, your lover graciously took me and my whole brood in
"Can I go for albuterol
So that you can breath freely here?"

He didn't say that if it came between
the cats and me
that I would have to go

Once again
I was moved to tears
As I stood in that kitchen
this time with a hand me down

Of a beloved, now deceased
as could breath easy
suddenly aware that the panic of fear
did make me so used to holding my breath
and not acknowledge when my lungs
were gasping for air

Realizing that it was so rare
for one to not say
"It's in your head"
There is something wrong with you

Overhead conversations
"I think asthma is an excuse"

This can not be the new man for me
Though he is the old one of the now beloved friend
who tells me otherwise

She is mistaken
for I am not one for whom
such a friendship could ever be forsaken

When I read the words of Alice
I see my friend
and not the man

And I see how she loves all those in need
and the beauty of this sister
No matter
How Crazy
How she has loved me

Albeit not with complete altruism
As her selfish love demands that she be needed
Demands that she is helping someone else
Lest she think only of herself

It validates and charges her batteries
which otherwise run weak
When she declares
"Yes you can sleep on my floor"
to a homeless friend

Yet sets the boundary that if he should wash his laundry in her kitchen sink
without asking
He will no longer be welcomed

"The Cat"
If you had thought
That setting the cat free
so you could love me
without help of an inhaler

As if being unseen
the dander that dusted over all
would be less real

And smoke curling from the fire
No matter how romantic
emanating from the wood burning stove
would somehow magically lose
its ability to cause caustic choking
and constriction of my lungs

You were mistaken

The act of release
was one of a stronghold
that did not make me respect
or trust you more

as in the long run
I left your house
realizing you could discard me
as easily as that nameless Bengal
a pet
to whom you were never really


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