[poetry]: The Other Chair

(c) Nin Harris 2012
When I was a some-teen, I dreamed
about a soulmate sitting on
a chair facing me in a room
filled with empty seats that
had no relevance.
There was only me and
the man who sat on the other chair.
It could have been a classroom, a conference,
a panel, a course, a strange cult meeting
in a sterile environment, or a room in
an asylum.
A chair has never been just a chair
for most of my life
And then, I started
disregarding and forgetting dreams;
a chair became just another chair.
It could have been a public lecture
in the 25th century on a space ship
as they recollected how humans first
settled on the moons of Saturn.
It could have been in a service hall
somewhere in Moscow in the 1960s.
Or, it could have been an asylum
all along, and I am still asleep
avoiding the moment
when I awaken to gaze
at white walls, to be brought
into the next room
where you await me
on the other chair
with a syringe and a kidney dish.
And then I started forgetting and
disregarding dreams; and every
chair lost its meaning and mystery.
My paranoias fed upon different sources,
and when they ran away,
so did my soulmates.
Instead I feed on soulmates that exist
on pages, in ASCII: words and numbers
that make mockery of meaning, defying it with multiplicity.
In this universe of consonants and vowels,
ambiguity between the signifier and the signified
a chair becomes whatever you say it is
and I become whoever you want me to be.
I am not Magritte’s Pipe
but you are not Magritte.
I am the Beloved, seated on the other chair
and you may paint me or smoke me or dream of me
because paranoia loves company.