Bert and Ernie Go to Couples Therapy
these phantom limbs are not our own
as every you every me is compelled by crease
of coiling wire in someone else’s hand
I am no man I am no monster I am both I am neither
something with so much time though none yet to live
today’s number is fifty-two
but the Jim Henson company owns our story
that is fifty-two years since we met
that is forty-four more fingers than all I have off my palms
fifty-one more lives than I have to spare
still no wedding ring to wear.
they say a puppet is a movable model
all a person half alive like records that skip
on every favorite song or breath bloated balloons
gone to heaven found later on the ground
our street is no heaven but haven of sorts
new neighbors come and know we don’t exist
lost in creature comforts they ride by
inflating rent with easy smiles.
the days here go slow full of reruns and hours
spent forgetting lines behind the scenes.
it’s funny. we practice speaking,
moving our mouths to vowels found in this world
yet you’ve forgotten all the ways to say my name.
from lo--ve or sw-ee-tie or dar-ling and now
Ernie - in one breath as though it sits
hot and green on your tongue
like I am bound to Oscar down the street
like I am trash put out in better hours.
Bert, today’s letter is R so here were are
wrapped in ghost-quiet of this round room
riddled in rainbow hues to ruminate
over our togetherness alone with this stranger all in blue
who claims he knows what to do
and how to make our house a home.