HAUTE REGIME by Jay Passer

it’s rigorous,
this pain, this
calling to gravity,
a sacrifice of arms.

all I want is to remain prone.

with a book,
forget that,
with anything to read, anything
to supplement the dreaming (comic section dues).

because I’m approaching
the end here,
I can feel it increasing, from my feet,
trouble steadying the carriage,
four floors up (where parrots meet crows).

the elevator could short out at any time.

two extra flights to the roof. it’s
where they keep the cages (there coulda been a community
up there, with a deck, chaise-lounges, herb gardens,
Hawaiian sunsets, the works.
what got in the way?
the pain? the tortured trips
to the community toilet? I blame the plague;
and tiny dogs yapping).

I must be getting oldish
with reverse robotics.
blessings for the youthful years, the seemingly indestructible.

I lost my keys!
my boots! my glasses!
wait a sec, only one boot!
or my pants? I can’t register socks…

alright, it’s like this: I was found
murdered in an alley,
one close by actually, where tent
encampments have proliferated
beneath moon orbits,
since that tethered rock actively gives a damn;
the sun elusive, reminding us
it prefers ants, rats, vultures, sharks…
for they evoke
lesser gods of photosynthesis.

I am naked,
haven’t showered in days. I want a nice
Queen Anne-era claw-foot tub
to soak away lack of vision (that I’m transparent;
in Venice,
or Barcelona,
or Marseilles).

I am naked and in pain because of the fear,
of the reality residing outside
in the gloaming.
I don my headdress, my rollicking Jolly Roger.

of my left eye, declining, of what in its last waning days
as seers see, the glass house of the future.
dim, dark,
in decline,
the Last Supper before it was cleaned up
with all the modern

clean me up, with laser toenail scrapings,
full x-ray vision
of my horoscope. meaning, prop me up for the rest of my life
so I can watch TV, eat jello,
race around brains compressed microscopically
(say petri dish)
(say culture)

(say no more).

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