She Leaves for the Day

while Franklin waits. While Franklin waits
for naught, I turn the TV on
in time to have Blackburn & Green
vow to get the compensation
that I deserve for injuries
sustained at work. Sustained at work
by a back pillow and caffeine,
supporting both of us, my wife
comes home to me and Franklin sprawled
before the door, our bellies up
to show our love. To show our love
without her here is like squaring
the triangle, so I follow
the bouncing ball that is Franklin
chasing his mouse toy as to learn
how the house goes. How the house goes
on like this I don’t know, the walls
are going deaf, I can applaud
one-handed, and when Franklin meows
without a sound I see we’re trapped
inside a koan. Inside a koan,
no one can hear you dream; online,
though, we are our fantasies, the
blogs of other such invalids
will let me live out how I feel,
not who I am. Not: Who I Am,
not-earning, not-contributing,
who reads blogs without blogging, who
watches cat videos without
posting comments. Posting comments
of his own, Franklin stares at me
with what seems pity, and instead
of sitting there and taking it,
as if testing my dignity,
I stare him back. I stare him back
through a camera, following him
up to the attic, and I climb
through the lens like a secret door,
switching the light setting over
to night vision. Tonight, vision
of loveliness, my wife will come
home to a Post-It that I left
saying she can find me online,
hiding behind a video.

Adam Fleming Petty (© 2010)