I love the evil twin the best,
especially the one no one knew existed.
Especially when it shows up with an ax
to grind. Or the dead ringer paid to pretend
to be brother, sister, old lover
risen from the grave. I love the way
anyone can come back from the dead
even after the whole cabin burns down
and they find the ring in the ashes.
Even after the lake is dragged and every
stone turned. How great
that you can be buried alive for months
and still make it to the New Year's Eve bash
in something with sequins.
I admit I'm a sucker for wardrobe: women
in their slit and plunged business suits; natty
men who only don jeans for the Fourth of July
picnic in a park with shaky fake shrubs.
Even the token lower class family
wears Sears' Best until they marry up,
or get arrested, or give themselves to God.
There is, by the way, proof God exists: Look
at their hair: how it flows like a river
of light, how it defies gravity
and even after calamity looks good,
and so perfectly frames the face
of the bitch who slips arsenic
into her mother's tea-time brandy.
I love the way the men sit in the cafeteria
and discuss the latest upturn
or downturn in their relationships. I love
all those coffee breaks, all the eating,
everyone meeting for lunch at a place
with cloth napkins, or dropping
in at the checkered local diner, or reserving
the Private Banquet Room
for a special occasion. Oh,
I love those Special Occasions
when they find the rare
organ donor, cure the rare
terminal illness. Or when the loyal
housekeeper ends up in the arms
of the gardener who doesn't even know
he is the son of the master. Lineage
is tricky business. My own father
died not knowing that his father,
who deserted early, died drunk
on a wharf in San Francisco.
But that's another story…
Not as good as the one where the father
adopts his own son, not knowing,
of course, but loving him so and so wanting
a son to love him.
When I am in Big Trouble,
such as: the bridge gives out or blows
up just as my car crosses, wipers
slash-slash, slash-slash & me
going so fast & reckless because at last
I know Who Did It, but no one else knows—
please get me to a Soaps Hospital
where my gurney will be wheeled
through the Main Entrance.
Doctors who have known me
all my life will gather around,
ply my lids & shout STAT,
& the same physician who delivered
my long lost half sister's miracle baby
will also perform the delicate brain surgery
that will save me from death.
And even if for a few weeks it looks like
I've really become nothing more than a vegetable,
trust me, one day, with the steady
background music of the heart
monitor & visits
from every major character in my life
I will come out of my coma
and to everyone's surprise and/or horror
I—or someone who looks just like me—
will tell everything I know.