Marc Swan, 3/27/2011

Current Occupation: vocational rehabilitation counselor
Former Occupation: free lance writer
Contact Information: Marc Swan lives on Munjoy Hill in Portland Maine. His work has been published in Exquisite Corpse, Rattle, Slipstream, and Westerly, among others. Simple Distraction, a collection of his poems from 1989 to 2009, was published in fall 2009 by tall-lighthouse in London England.

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Shaving in the dark

My co-worker tells me of his morning shave
in a dimly lighted room.
The toothpaste makes green smears across his cheek
and then the tingle.
I think of another man I work with,
a man with no legs and energy far beyond his cardiac pump.
His voice message a reggae song with an uplifting
beat that makes me smile every time I hear it.
I’ve been working on getting him back to work.
We’ve been talking every week
often in a call back after I hear that musical interlude.
Today a different caller.
His wife tells me he passed away last Thursday.
No reggae in that call just intense clouds
stormy and dark. His voice and that beautiful incessant
rhythm fills the liquid space inside my head.
My co-worker caught the drift and added lather.
It all smoothed out perfectly
though a lesson may have been learned
about the vagaries of dark rooms, maybe not.

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