Waiting / Geri Gale
dancing girl press, 2014
Geri Gale is the author of PATRICE: A POEMELLA. Her poetry, prose, and nonfiction have appeared in numerous publications. She lives in Seattle. For more details about past and future works, visit gerigale.com.
| Waiting One |
We wait for the new, new thing—we look at the old and see decrepit and lack of life and we long for the new, new thing that will transport us up and beyond and out of ourselves into a spectrum of red hues fired with passion and adrenaline adventures. Some of us wait for heart, to take heart, to make heart, to tear heart, to eat heart, to pierce another’s heart in two.
T. S. Eliot waited. He waited for The Cocktail Party and he waited for The Waste Land. Other writers don’t wait. Other writers just pick up a pen and write a sentence void of still point. Syllables. Symbols. Sauce.
Lying still in the field of corn, the boy in Kansas waits in the night sky and dreams of time travel, dreams of riding a horse along the Oregon Trail. Still the astronomer waits for the black hole. Still the physicist waits for the energy to explode and regenerate.
The white-aproned butcher waits for prime meat, waits for muscle and bone of prime beef.
Some wait a lifetime to become a person, some meander through life as another person, some never know what it would be like to be a person. Some breathe and eat and work and sleep and never find time to fall into the exacting shape of a person. Some keep to the animal, not person. Some moan and groan and whine and bitch and scream and dig holes waiting to become person.
All of us wait for the party, wait for the invite, wait for the hors d’oeuvres, wait for the dance, the cocktail.
The girl in Oklahoma waits for her phone to ring, waits for the yellow sun to lick the cobalt-blue of her Oklahoman sky and lift her out of her person.
Some wait to dress the person, cover the persona in cotton and spandex.
A master chef waits for the appropriate hour to sharpen knives, waits for the perfect cut, waits for the slow-motion rise and fall of a chocolate soufflé.
Sweaty wealthy entrepreneurs wait for cheap labor, resources, and sales, the accumulation of dollars and patents, mission-critical capitalist takeovers, a fleet of antique cars, five hundred pairs of shoes, vaults of glittering jewels.
The wife of the South African miner waits for her husband to return after a day of digging for diamonds. She waits for her husband to swallow a diamond, to digest a diamond he carries home in his intestines. She waits for her husband’s bowel movement.
Everyone waits, sits and waits, stands and waits, reads and waits, waits for the antagonist to dirty the protagonist, waits for the cliff-hanger, waits for the 747 to take off, waits for the alarm buzzer to ring, waits for the triathlon race to begin, waits for film noir and summer to sizzle skin.
Sappho waited for the ship to return. And Elizabeth Bishop waited for the shadow to lift.
The line of people waiting to enter the arena, the line of the hungry waiting for food-bank doors to open, the line of protesters against the war, the line of addicts waiting for clean syringes, the line of chickens waiting for slaughter reside side by side, defiant, compliant, their person, their feathers, their hearts stripped in the eternal wait.