To be published in The Cape Rock


“A basic resistance to flow measurable by viscometers and rheometers. Also a measure of its resistance to gradual deformation by shear stress or tensile stress.” —Wikipedia, 2017

The viscous fluid of a person can be measured by their decisions

about love, work, and the world. This is done when dying

with a viscometer. Choices to stay or go, choices to listen

or ignore; like the bird still east in coldest January,

optimism is good for viscosity flow, but it’s rarer these days.

It’s a secret known only to certain death attendants.

All are born with the same ability to be agile

but many accumulate thickening agents like depression, rage,

and anxiety.

As you get older you might become more fluid

or less so, in which case you are cemented in place in your mind.

In looking around I’m seeing a lot of stuck people.

This time I think it’s fear.

If I hadn’t asked

If I hadn’t asked who you were having dinner with that night

I wouldn’t be crazy lost now and you wouldn’t have moved to

Connecticut with an eyebrowed cooking woman: something I would

never be.

If I hadn’t asked if you liked sleeping alone maybe

we would have grown accustomed to each other sighing

into our dreams, a hip teaspooned into a hip, yours so much

fuller than mine, sailing on into the night, no navigational devices needed.

Bacon for breakfast.

If I hadn’t read her emails maybe I could have forgotten the alert messages

coming almost daily into my cerebral cortex. Messages telling me the ice was

thin though it was late summer.

If I hadn’t asked why you were leaving maybe I would still believe you

did love me though now I see all I need to do is be silent and I’ll

never learn that.

To be published in the Cape Rock