Split off for a sec
I thought I might say something
but couldn’t come up with it
and lingered in the rosy twilight
unpacking an old suitcase
I found under the stairs.
Sometimes I stay as still
as possible, and tell myself
a limitless vista’s
opening up, but it’s not.
The rain pounded madly on the roof.
sat on the porch shelling
peas and quoting scripture.
The birds in the melaleuca trees
seemed tired. The sky
reopened like a grocery store
on a desert road. I came
away from myself, unstuck,
and a sort of translucent
like a small herd of gazelles
entered my mind.
The morning, knocked from the blocks, de-amplified
and clamped to daylight, the forests showing off their skinny bones
and the winterized animals brisk and shoveling messy leavings
down their gullets, the brandished bits in your mind like a vacation
in the tropics where at the cathedral the inventor of equipoise
loses his balance and falls flat. The damage is done. Carpenters
and light-fingered apprentices on their way to the arena, the careful
planning that’s supposed to make the lamps come on at the sound
of eagles screaming, these placements detailing frostbite
in the mountains might mean we’ll be back in the loggias
and fruit stands of our youth, someday. The gimmies, the shucked
superlatives like hosed-down relatives, the way she got on with it
after the tragedy, these secernate jump starts–
we get out early most days, wreathed in spumescence,
the basic compilations of a destiny transformed as we speak
into a vagueness of aspect like a murky rinderpest and invitation
to a crab boil on the beach. We easily escaped
the attitudinal ambiguities and hooted from the porch
at the passing armies. Bravery is after all a known quantity.
The getalong ways, conversationalists offering their cut rates
and specialized phrasing, the details of the fire traced with a blackened
finger on a placemat. It gets impractical you might say to go on.