Nov 22, 2011

This Friday

Written by Susan Browne

Read by Jack Heflin

Often I wonder what happened
to lost buttons as well as husbands.
We are in love and then not and then
our coats hang open.

Today, I won’t go anywhere.
I will untie myself.
Tomorrow, my life will be over,
so I need to practice.

The light on my hands looks real,
and so does my skin with its gold hairs
like any soft animal.
The body is a museum of dreams and trinkets
and hatchets and unsent letters.

I’m concerned about coffins. There are many of them
disrupting the moss.

What if you could snap
your fingers and disappear?
What if you couldn’t snap
yourself back?
It would be okay
during committee meetings
when I hear the word “productivity.”

You can’t think too much about who you are
because you’re not that person.
You’re more like a lamp. On, off. On, off.
I like to be on but then I get tired
and want someone who doesn’t think too much
about who he is to stroke my arm hairs.

This Friday, my father will be eighty-seven.
He wants socks and spaghetti.

You and I both know the trouble we’ve seen.
Here, let me button your coat.