Quixote For Real
after Allen Ginsberg
Came home, found Quixote in my living room. It’s happened,
I said to myself in the silence. The light seemed subtly altered.
I have Quixote in my house, and all my eggs are fried.
Called my mother on speed-dial. Quixotic! she screamed. I took in his drooping
moustaches, his pipecleaner body and too-tight trousers, the whisping edges of his
fraying flies. The sun shrugged from behind a cloud
as he pitched himself, a silken tent on the old chaise-longue,
batting his eyelashes, snickering softly, enchanted he said by all this family talk of
poetry, the minecraft castles, the games on x-box, the books, (the books!) the magic
of the internet. He smacked his lips, petted his greyhound with lotus-soft hands. When
my children came home, it got worse, he got wilder: fighting with pillows, letting
baths overflow, smoking dope with my neighbour out in the yard,
his rackety steed running up and down stairs and trashing the carpets. Get real! I
wept, and he bowed to me softly, held an unknowable look in his kindly eyes.
So I took to the streets, ate a yard of mobile data in the process – left a the ladder
of snapchats to my oldest friends -- the selfies I’d taken, just me and Quixote, my pale
face looking smaller than usual, his pocked cheeks gleaming, around my shoulders his
ash white arms. After a week I called up my ex. Don, I said, What the hell
can I do? Day and night he paces the house. His bloodshot eyes have started to haunt
me. His insistence on optimism is making a statement. Losing sleep like this is
making me strange. At this point Quixote (before he could answer) began frantically
to gesture. Even now I can picture his face as he stood up from the kitchen table, a
ragged feather drooping from his helmet. I could hear my own voice exploding. We
all must suffer trials for love. Not this time, baby, he muttered, as he bowed his head,
flourished a wave. But I will be back. So I followed him, and that bloody horse,
pushed the front door wide. Confused, dazed, exalted now I wait for his return.
In this life I have heard his promise. O Quixote! I sit here in the lonely cafes.
I have served your starved and ancient presence. Quixote, still, I wait in my room.