He became slightly lazy about shaving
as if making a statement to a lady
of course she could not see him across the ocean
he has a fragile soul
chipping mother’s fine china
gripping his apple too tight – it bruises
was the apple of each person’s eye
hers not the least
or at least not anymore
the least favorite road trip of all time
he just wanted company
because the books-on-tape,
the country radio stations that stretched across the cornfields
couldn’t fill his mind
so instead he fills it with ideas
less a calling than a distraction
I can solve this – he tells himself
but only to pass the time
he’s only good at what he does to pass time
how can such a brilliant human being be so fragile?
How many of the great inventions came about because of human frailty?
Was Benjamin Franklin flying the key on the kite because he’d been kicked out of his girlfriend’s place the previous night?
Did Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence because he couldn’t find the words to a love letter?
Was Henry Ford’s assembly line just a distraction from his teenage daughter’s pregnancy?
How many great men became great to avoid intimacy?
he fills his minds with problems of globalization
the problems that the nations face
he’s making conversation – stating
filling his mind with something
other than filling his trunk
with boxes full of what he left at her place
he’s going to get drunk tonight
and his pints will cool global warming
his treatise on a napkin
a result of what has happened
but the result is that it’s published
his poetry finds its way to academic journals
to conversations with his classmates
his professors can’t help but be impressed
his drive is a result of his emptiness
he’s solving the globe’s problems to avoid his own
writing a thesis so he doesn’t have to write an email
all he wanted was a little company
to move a few boxes