Brussels, Belgium

I’m no old timer but
I’ve been doing this long enough
That I see ghosts in parking lots
Smiling black men in Scottish tartan
Sliding across wet brick carrying laughs
Old friends standing where they once did

That adventure loses out to recharging flat batteries
The selective investigation of one who’s been there before
Preferring not to play “roulette de tourist”, the chances
Of a walk stirring the tanks of images toward combustion
Much less

In fact, I fear that this disinterest may be something more
A depression lodged below the gratitude and happiness
Something left undone or unresolved
Curare, shot into growth, paralyzed by behavior
Older than this laminate, than all these laminates

How can I stumble over the problem
While locked behind the hotel door
Window open, TV on, bed linens twisted like hair around a caster,
My bags like forts around me, protecting the perimeter,
My back protected by pillows and a headboard,
Clothes like landmines set for room service waiters?

I contemplate the trap and the courage needed
For change, how anyone turns from what they know
To not only the unknown but the un-thought of a path
Never considered , having to start over again with no experience,
Ego stowed, the joy of learning intact, fear in check
A new beginning, a new happiness, a new life

And then a single piece of xeroxed paper slides under
The door by an unseen hand, telling me what I must do
Tomorrow and when
Let me finish this; then I suppose paths and choices
Will have proper time to torture me
Maybe then I will learn some more.