"pocket watch"
rating: +6+x

i see you in there
with your fireplace and your
wooden dining room
table with nice plates and
silverware and candles
that can sit eight people
(six on the sides, one
on each end) and
your happy family
get-together where
grandpa tells the kids
that story about how
when he was a young
man his dad gave him
the nicest pocket watch
he had ever seen and
told him that it was
a magic family heirloom
to be kept with him
always and now that
pocket watch is with
your father and some
day it will be with you
and i'm stuck out here
and it's so
and you won't
let me in.

on the other end of your doorstep,
i am standing on the other side of a box set.
your lights are a deep, child-rearing red to me now —
they alternate between
they are commands.
it does me better to sit outside, my legs crossed, critiquing.
i have a production crew with me, in essence who gently take and shake my shoulders when i look too hung up about it
and they say to me
"you did all you could this couldnt go on forever"
but the rear-ended child in my mind, so stilted in its development
says "please! The show must go on."
i wish i could open the little walls to my own box set
and walk through the door, say
"sweetie, im home,
you dont need to be cold in here anymore."
but the christmas special has been filmed;
the home videos have been taped over.
only bleeding and occasional flashes of a wedding dance,
under bright theme songs
and context-less cameos.

when the moon shines
down on the town
and the stars are
bright like the eyes
of naive little children
who think that the show
can go on forever if they only
will it so,
i yearn for walls
that keep out the snow
but allow me to pass
through to the place
where you wait for me
to say honey i'm home,
instead of striking me down
with great bolts of lightning.
i yearn for the home
that makes people say
wow, you did well
for yourself
instead of the cracked
concrete that brings forth
we don't know what
happened, he seemed
like such a nice boy, he
was always so sweet,
none of us saw it coming,
we wish we could have
known and done something,
but now it's too late and
we'll only see him again
when his face flashes
behind walls of christmas cheer and

concrete is a bitter mattress
and snow is a nipping blanket.
even my little heirloom
full of memories
cant save me now.
dont bother me, please
ill sleep on the side of the street if I need
or ill curl up around your TV
and watch them try to depict
what its like to be me
but its SO HARD
you cant just understand on the first try
you need to sleep without dress shoes on your feet
and your only possession is a pocket watch
that was SUPPOSED to have MAGIC INSIDE
but it doesnt
i still believe
i want there to be miracles everywhere

its snowing out all the time nowadays
and its so nice the way the wind kind of shimmers over it
its the magic!
thats what it is
maybe its not in the house or in the walls
but i miss it
i want to lay down
because when i sleep i miss you;

i had a dream the other night
that you were a little older, a
little less bright-eyed about
dress shoes and the things
they talk about on the tv,
and your grandpa was
suddenly very ill, and you went
to see him in the hospital, and
your parents were too busy with
work to go see him, and your
siblings didn't care enough to
cancel their plans, and the
nurses weren't there to check
up on him, so it was just you
and him as he lay there dying,
and you were absentmindedly
fiddling with the old pocket
watch he gave you, and he
noticed, and he turned to
you and said to tell you the
truth, i made up that whole
story about the watch, i just
bought it at a store somewhere
downtown to make your dad
feel special, and then he went
quiet, and then he flatlined,
and then i woke up, and after
that dream i had a soft smile
on my face the whole snowy morning,
and the clerk at the store
asked me why was i smiling
as i paid for a new mattress
and set of blankets, and i
said oh no reason, why was i

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