Sometimes he gets stuck in the dictionary so
long that his brain becomes alphabet soup.
He wears his skin tattooed with another’s thoughts.
And he waits.
No, he frets – and sour apprehensions
swim atop a slowly scumming pond
of wilted words, reeking of lost sleep.
And, if reflections in the coffee shop window
are meant to serve as metaphor,
they only spur on the edict
of secondary pictures mirrored from
another’s doubting face.
Come then, if you must,
shadows from a cold mist to
rattle and rustle the bones.
Come, take up residence beside
one with a plasticine pencil,
pliable to cautious hands –
worthless in sweaty palms,
squeezing desperately against
In this reverie to a ghost –
vestibule in an empty house,
birthing only the vestige of coffee-stained
intentions, a writer paces –
Robert Alan Rife, originally from Calgary, Canada is the music director am the music and worship minister at Yakima Covenant Church in Yakima, Washington, a singer-songwriter, liturgist, poet, and writer. He loves words – reading them, writing them, eating them. Mostly, living in them. He has two websites devoted to writing, innerwoven and robslitbits as well as writing for many others. He is a featured poet/writer/musician on ALTARWORK and has numerous published poems.