Crazy – a poem by Thomas Allbaugh

Crazy
 
“First, let’s define our terms,” the facilitator says but 
ignoring first principles, the woman again 
at Grief Group says 
“I hear 
his voice,” 
clutches crumpled, moist tissue, 
slouches in a chair to be stacked 
after the meeting for tomorrow’s boy
or girl scouts
or the senior craft session—
I’ve never learned which. 
It’s the light of community center
 
And I think, Are you crazy? 
I wish I 
could hear his voice. 
Even a dream 
would probably suffice. 
We no long hear saints, hear God, hear 
the Spirit, only our dreams of madness 
voiced over by therapist mumbles as from 
an adjoining room or access.
I want to be you in these quests
the five of us now norm in this 
life after, come 
without reason, cause, or rhyme 
packing toxins of hindsight to spill over lines 
at job, school, or parking lot spaces 
after finding him at the end 
of a rope he learned to coil
on the Internet. 
 
Are we crazy? 
I will tell I have need 
to know that heaven swoops at earth 
occasionally, and 
time machines are open to
this wind of the abys of 
our stories and the leaves we see 
scattering and want to hear
and not stare another day
at a table set with flowers 
again.

Thomas Allbaugh‘s poems and stories have appeared in Relief, Mars Hill Review, Broken Sky, and other publications. His novel, Apocalypse TV, appeared in 2017. He has also published a chapbook, The View from January (January 2020) and a collection of short stories, Subtle Man Loses His Day Job and Other Stories (September 2020). He is professor of English at Azusa Pacific University, where he teaches composition and creative writing. 

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