Frisking the Ticklish
“He took my book away--and I was glad.”
That’s all I knew.
It was, for a time, the one thought in my singular existence.
“Gone! my book was gone!” and I felt glad.
But also, I felt violated as I stood there,
staring through the bars,
watching the officer flip
through the mystic lines of Hafiz.
(Like he could appreciate eleventh century, middle eastern, poetry.)
He had barely been able to read the computer screen as he checked me into my cell.
I… I had been patient when he,
thinking my incense crystals were crack cocaine,
had cuffed me again and searched me head-to-toe.
And I had forgiven him his lack of humor when I, giggling, said:
“You could’ve at least bought me dinner first, buddy.”
But this—this was too much.
With Hafiz went my heart
like a thing dead already into a body bag.
He toe-tagged it with an unreadable flourish
and a blank face—a face as dead and transparent as
the zip-lock now resting in peace on the table.
I could not help but wonder if he
had any idea what he had done.
He had taken poetry from a poet!
Now—there’s just something intrinsically wrong about that—No,
wrong is too light a word; it was tragic:
(although, a tragedy worthy of the irony).
Rhetorical brilliance alone, though,
cannot justify the pain I felt.
And so at last I found myself glad
he had took my book of poetry,
‘cause if he hadn’t,
I most certainly would have
thrown it at him.
care to swap reads and comment on the books?