An Infinite Regression of Past Lives

By Peter

A skunk walks across the beach
in a red and white striped one piece,
a surfboard under his arm.
He stops every woman
to ask for the time of day.
None give it to him
as bikini clad women
tend not to wear watches.
They are, for the most part, cordial
in their refusals,
but the waves laugh at his rejections.
The skunk, visibly frustrated by the guffaws,
refrains from spraying the water
out of respect for the other beachgoers.
The skunk is not a skunk at all,
He is a businessman carrying a briefcase.
The sand is Grand Central Station.
He constantly checks his watch,
then squints at the schedule,
then back to his watch.
He is the type of person who shows up
hours early in case of this very predicament
and would likely catch his train with time to spare.
He asks anyone and everyone
for directions to the proper platform,
pointing to his ticket for reference.
No one acknowledges his presence.
He is not a businessman at all.
He is me. I am no businessman.
I am in a motel room
washing my face
I don’t know what city I’m in,
some town bordering Detroit.
I stare into the mirror in the mirror,
see how many of me there are.
It’s three a.m. and I have a strange feeling
I’m going to a funeral tomorrow.
Why else would I pack a suit?

An Infinite Regression of Past Lives