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  • Michael Barnes

Notion of a Mind Field

The little boy

tries to point to purpose

and drop a pin on understanding life

like catching raindrops in a bowl with holes,

a cracked clay pot, nothing is what it could hold.

In-between the purrs,

a face of fur,

the wagging grace of tails

that flip and graze his face.

Looking for an answer to land on

In a mind field of molecules

bouncing off one another like pinballs

in an arcade,

one token for a shot,

a basketball in a broken bracket.

He was once so full of why's

which slipped away and turned to sighs,

an atlas on his shoulders shrugged

as he watched the carpet dry--

the milk he spilt upon it,

shouts of dammit, illness attracted flies.

Leaning towards the sun

just like a drunk leans on a bar at night.

Hoping for an outward change,

a dormant bear awaiting spring

to go outdoors and play.

A boy who cries but sheds no tears,

a plant that's dry--I watch it die of thirst.

And all the while grasping

for poetic notions,

to say a wise thing,

wanting to be the only one

to say the best thing,

and say it first.