The Things I Saw, Around The Things I Didn’t


Why not pick your teeth of the region’s finest sardines, before hopping that plane. Before returning to our building, to our bed, and to me lying there in it… to finally tell me: You were in love with another her.

What’s a little New Yorker by the water, when you’re about to kill her.

Those hundred strands of tinsel that define compartmentalization-prone design. I see you sitting in them now. Allowing for their twinkling overstay as the tree behind them suffocated, that little bit more.

I felt, that trip, some cold draft between the flat toned texts. Like something were dividing our allegiance. An allegiance my fantasy-inclined sculptress had beefed up from a lima bean to a standing man in size, all along. Always craving that solid, was I. A tear, please met with a tear. Some matching of exchange, here in the material.

But once you’ve let your intuition cower to a mental alka seltzer, there are few witches left who can work with the fizz. Few, of any profession, who could have fabricated me back into the one who knew.

For that would have required peeling off all the band-aids I cleverly placed to mute my heart. It would have required shaking the tinsel off, and standing firmly in a green torso.

It would have required that I be the tree that knew all along, what that tinsel really meant…

I guess the joke was on me, right at that plate of sardines. Expecting some restoration of our imperfect balance upon your flight home to me, as it had come before. Instead of what did.

Doubt is born where trust is lost. So when it does show up, see if there’s any tinsel around.

Because a little local grill before the truth, is no way to live. And certainly no way to treat…. well, forget lover… even friend.

The featured image, “LISBON RECYCLING”, is a detail from the top of a big recycling bin on a Lisbon street. I took it on a short work trip of his. It speaks to the things I saw, around the things I didn’t… It was his next trip to that same spot that brought the above, that brought those sardines. Ironically, they represent one of the last suppers of our story, as I wasn’t there to share in them.

In retrospect, Lisbon paid me the great service of initiating the recycling of my life, my heart, and my willingness to see down to the core green. It truly did recycle me. I just didn’t know at the time that I was waste, needing to make the right choice.

© 2016 Sherry Mills, Inc.