Alchemy as Process, Not Product
During the process of alchemy
a peacock appears in the flames.
From your TV chair you think
"phoenix" or even "change the channel"
but once his tail flicks out
like a veil tossed by a beautiful
Saigon bar-girl who's also a magician
your happy vision vanishes.
Your wife could be better looking
but maybe then she wouldn't cook
or clean, and keep the kids
in school and on the track
you left to fight for someone else's
freedom, somewhere else.
When you came back
your dog refused to know you
your wife had a new boyfriend
like everyone else, and you lived
in the box your car came in.
You wouldn't think
of motorbikes if it weren't for that
helicopter overhead, and the bus, idling.
Alone, cold and hungry, you dream
of freedom. That's alchemy.