dusty shoes

the women that I have left behind fatten, grow old
rapidly, they coarsen, get embittered and some just
die
but the living still think of me often
now realizing that I made the nights and the days
jump up and down
quite like they never had before,
that even in sleep I gave off light, gave off
electric shocks, made interesting
sounds.
and awake?
forget it, nobody could touch me and often didn’t
want to.

I caused consternation in odd places like
drug stores, picnic grounds, laundermats, airports,
doctor’s offices, freeways and other
ways.

I was funny, I was strange, I was not
right.
I puzzled the ladies, sometimes made them angry
but I was never difficult to get rid
of.
“hey!   where you going?   you
just got here!”

after me, there was nobody.

some of them know it right away.

with others it took months and with a few,
years.

I wasn’t a lady’s man, I was just an aberration
with the ability to transcend
strictures, I was unshaven with dusty shoes, wrinkled
shirt, stained
pants
but
I brought   something to each that
they had never ever quite seen before
and when I took it away
all other men, all other things, objects, holidays, songs,
meals, beds, chairs, rugs, days, nights, movies, tv programs,
all those things lost something
became dull, ordinary,
useless.

it is a truly horrible thing to attempt to
go on living without
me.

I wouldn’t want to do
it.