Not Today

Not Today
I have become the one who forgets.
Calendars lined up side by side
on the Rosetta Stone of my desk
do not share information
with each other
or with me.
I have become ubiquitous
in the watery world of calendars,
promising to be in three places at once,
inviting others to join me,
all the mes.
I say yes to everything, everyone,
and then backstroke through the nos
that inevitably follow.
“Early onset” I say,
hoping to disarm truth with truth.
But onset of what?
Maybe it is ubiquity.
Maybe I do watch small birds chasing foam
on a Gulf coast beach while their prey
burrows down or tumbles in the surf.
Maybe I do listen to the poet in the concert hall
with more wonder than envy. How does she
break it all open and build a book from its parts?
Maybe I do look out from a high school stage
at all those teenage faces full of plans
and say something about the fluid nature of time
that sets small charges in the dams of their urgent present.
All at once!
All at once, while I grab sonar messages,
pretend to write them down,
mean to write them down
as soon as my head breaks water.
As soon as
            oh, the sun behind the fire hall
the deer camouflaged by woods
            the moon above the university
the effortless water!
S. Robbins

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