Between Shows


The other night,
I had just finished
watching something
or other and found

myself between shows.
The words floated then
formed in my mind—my
life is between shows.

No way I want to go
back; no idea what is
ahead. I can’t count
the times I was dead

certain about what
was next, what was
coming, or about love.
Wrong every time.

Hope was a train wreck
looking back. Decades
of deserted track. But
the train never stops;

I never arrive. Don’t
you see? The train
never stops; I never
get on. My life is

suspended

between shows.

The Boy of the Lamp


He rubbed the lamp.
Nothing happened.
He rubbed it some
more.

The books on the
small shelf in his
room were his pride
and joy. They became
one with the lamp.

So,
he rubbed the lamp.
Nothing came out.
He rubbed it some
more.

There was no hope
outside of the lamp.
He waited for the
lamp to speak.

For years he rubbed
the lamp. He hoped
his dreams would
come true because
he believed they
were in the lamp.

He rubbed so often
and so long, the
lamp’s surface
shined like polished
silver. But the lamp
was silent.

Now he was old. His
dreams faded and the
lamp never spoke.

Why?

When he was a boy,
when nothing was
safe, he spoke his
dreams into the
lamp.

Over the years,
his heart and all
his hopes were in
the lamp. The
fantasies of the
lamp assuaged the
painful realities
of his life.

He placed value on
the lamp. He couldn’t
see the value in
himself because he
couldn’t see that he
was the genie of
the lamp.

When he was very old
he saw himself as a
boy. The boy would
do anything to make
the pain go away.

The old man watched
the boy put everything
he loved into the lamp.

The boy loved to read,
so the old man saw the
boy wish his books into
the lamp.

The boy changed anything
in the lamp to whatever
he wanted it to be. He
changed his books into
a writer, movies into a
soldier or an actor,
verses of scripture into
an end-time prophet.

The boy in the dream
turned to look at the
old man. Their eyes
met and the boy was
consumed by the lamp.

For the first time in
his life the old man
saw the lamp for what
it was, so he spoke to
the boy in a whisper.

“Boy, your safety and
true value are not in
the lamp. A master of
fantasy is a slave to
the lies of a wounded
heart, a master of the
air, who believes he
can catch the wind in
his hand. Come out.”

The old man stood
with his arm around
the boy’s shoulders.
They stood together
on a dazzling tile in
a room with a gold
throne, a room filled
with bright light.

The lamp was gone. Never
to appear again. He was
no longer the boy of the
lamp.

It was then that they
caught a glimpse of
a man on the throne with
the wind in his hand.