Wednesday, December 2, 2015

PAVLOV'S DOGS

It's beginning to look a lot like
Christmas—the way bleary thousands 
upon thousands of pairs of perfect 
strangers avoid eye contact instinctively,

glancing instead down, and then
off to one side, relieved to alight their eyes
on the adjacent, newly repeating 
citywide signs for consolation,

recreating each snowy sound and story
in the salivating mouths 
of their minds—of new lives deserved 
or of old adversaries reckoning;

memorable cashes of phrases recurring,
seemingly swirled randomly, but in truth, manufactured 
to refresh mankind's blurry but ample
and resilient muscle memory 

for preferring to remain so 
spectacularly alone (united just softly enough
by fear—of death 
and by awe of what's left)

and for soldiering on, simultaneously—
consumed by these empty tidbits 
now piling up across the white
sidewalks and street corners 

and desperate to consume 
and regurgitate 
and then re-consume them
all over again—at the drop of the next silver bell.

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