Jazz, personified

He will rarely knock. If he decides to his knuckles will bounce off the wood quickly. A skipping record. A


He will fidget on the other couch for four minutes before pacing.

You will notice that his bare feet stick to the hardwood

like smacking lips.

If you indulge him,

if you attend him,

his stare will spoon-feed you challenges:

Why do you sit on your feet so much, if every time

your leg fills up with      metal beads?

Why did you use those books you haven’t read

to put under your tv to make it   taller?              Why did you

stop painting your toenails?      Why did you so carefully pick apart that styrofoam cup with the water still inside?

If you don’t      indulge him

he’ll take his aching needle fingers and work his way into your cupboards.

He will eat the one-third cup of raw pasta at the bottom of the box

and will crunch and hum until

he gets you to smile.

He will then lift up

the corner of the rug

with a flexed toe

and make a comment

about sun-bleaching.

As he studies your twitching fingers he’ll narrate aloud the                      cold war

between your ambition

and your hands.

His Irish exit will either

leave you with all four corners of both your feet pressed into the floor,

or leave you cursing and hobbling, unsticking a single rotini

from the bottom of your right foot.

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