The Spy Who Came In For His Appointment

by Mark Parsons

The difference between a perfectionist and a man obsessed,
the difference between us, doctor.
                                                      Each successive ring of diagnosis
your therapeutic largesse makes
draws out another unconscious, emotional malady, begging
from the first psychic wound
the ultimate utterance like a tree, the axe.
                                                                  When I came home today, coming in out of rain,
and crossed the threshold into tongue and groove
wainscoting stained sunset red orange
that filled the entrance hall with warmth inside
cold forgotten stonework,
I wondered what has really changed since weather,
that original space we all shared,
was fenced off,
helping ease us into the first, false division,
the idea of a world
out there, conspiring against our desire for safety and
personal gratification until
we reconciled ourselves to fellow feeling
buttressed against the despair of primordial twilight

Seeking the truth of this moment in minor details
I roll a word around my mouth
like the squarish bitter cut end of a cheroot
Clint Eastwood bites down on
getting set to draw against the rojo gang,
angular bodies of men
intertwined along a splitrail fence
like figures on an armature.
Outgunned, outmanned
in number and experience, draw first.