Circus Nerves & Worries

When that everybody’s legal twin Mrs. Trio
enters the casino, I expect personal disaster.
Out of next winter’s worst blizzard I’m convinced
into the lobby and up the ladder she’ll hustle
holding that squeaky velvet purse to one ear.
Placing one green and black peppermint-striped chip
gingerly on zero, zero it is. Which is when I fall dead.
In my shower while soaping. This very next year.

Goony intuition? Well, once in April at the Café Jolie
pointblank she asked: this terror at time in your eyes,
wouldn’t crossing a river help? How about now?
Give up my innocence hunt, I exclaimed,
intimacies with failure, all my “sudden magic” hopes?
And today came this dream about moths, I lied,
mouthing, yes wisdoms. Only how to read their lips? Tell me! Tell me!
I dream about vines, she said. Thank you and ciao.

Yesterday I looked at my body. Fairly white
Today fairly white, the same. No betterment.
Why can’t I feel air? Or take in mountains?
I lose my temper at pine needles, such small stabs.
Breezes scratch me (different from feeling)
and I long to breathe water. Agenda tomorrow:
cable her care of casino TIME TERROR GONE

Poems by Kenward Elmslie are used by permission of The Estate of Kenward Elmslie.