I was sitting still in an armchair
with nothing on my mind but birdsong
and the appearance of a bookcase,
yet I felt a distinct sensation of travel.
Several countries seemed to slip by
as if I were on a morning train
heading across a wide plain
into the mountains, the window full of cows.
I stayed in the chair for about an hour–
the moody hour before dinner–
but it felt like several months,
one of them featuring a national holiday.
Finally, the winter sun sank
behind the silhouette of a landscape,
leaving me alone in the dark where
the sound of breathing seemed to be coming,
not from the dog on the rug,
but from a lost tribesman tending his cook fire,
a thread of blue smoke rising
from a forest on a continent directly to the south.