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Sunday, July 11, 2010


by Rob Spiegel

Can I have your fervor back,
your wisdom? Can I have your
hotel room with its view overlooking
the white fields of Iowa?
Your soporific nights.

Can I have your adversaries, so clear,
so weak? Can I have the simplicity
of planning for a debate, the leisure
of writing a speech about race, your
long and lonesome Midwest bus rides?

I can’t find myself any longer, not
even in the glint of a daughter’s eyes.
I have dissipated among my
fervent staff. I am weary of the projections
that can’t be stripped from my skin.

You were dreamlike on a thousand
airplane rides, the two-hour cell-phone
calls home. The coffee and television at dawn,
alone, the tiny thoughts of strategy,
the deep camaraderie of competition.

The world grinds now, hour by hour,
and every step is a misinterpretation.
I am tired of my own voice not being
my own voice; it echoes across the screen
in lies no truth can penetrate.

Michelle is distant now in her utter helpfulness.
My daughters have stopped reaching to their dad.
The doors close with the weight of thick
water. The air here is re-circulated
across decades and it blurs the mind.

Remind me, please, of the simple music
of trees. They sang to me from Hawaii
to Maine. You were the fine cloth,
my hand-woven best. Now my skin
is metallic and the brutal welds won’t give.

Rob Spiegel is a journalist, poet and fiction writer living in New Mexico.