We are loved, just don't turn to look too quickly; the center burns flat and vacant. I am certain of a blue sleeve to the side just before it's pulled behind the gate.
Ants are in a panic again, their scouts jittery and fragile. Blasted, powdery days. It's time for him to leave and I think I could've helped but I didn't or maybe I did or help was not the problem or there was no problem or....
Embarrassed to see the predicament and yet to proceed, we proceed. But it's out of anybody's hands inversion layer, clamps on each hour, constant tugging on the stitch, and pains that rise where they can, leaving the troubled place mute and untended.
"You might tether possibilities, take into account rays of light which fan from the ocean floor, or tie down the path of surface shimmer that follows you no matter what direction; by considering the outer region of the big bang where beginning has not yet visited, might place yourself in wandering."
A plumb becomes a pendulum. Orbit's a kind of center, I guess. There need not be fractures in thinking. He says there is perfection, no argument., hair braided each morning and a fresh ribbon the color of the dress.
Phone poles snap by as I pass. Their shadows angle around the car in a pattern I would fit to my pulse, match to the turn blinker. Out of phase, but no one else has noticed, and there is a way to save the system. He says if I am diligently clever I will succeed.
"Own one cup, one plate. Change address frequently; never tell your mother's maiden name. Like all nomads you will grow in expertise of geometry and rhythm. On this quest toward the abstract, seamless One, I escort you."
Tools for squaring the circle. Resolution of graph paper. The clocks that push and pull dishevelment. I've tried. Couldn't I be wilier? Couldn't I make a mistake?
A pretty woman is showing me how to complete a form. She holds it toward me, against her blouse, and points to it as she talks. She looks down at it until her finger is in the right place, then lifts her eyes to me and taps the paper. Clearly, carefully, she has told me, and now I know what to do.
You or I, who, by appearances in the air, will be remembered, by walking in a circle might forgive, by common salt will awaken, by the pulsation of some member might have presence, by writings in ashes will trick the future, by wild beasts will begin and end,
We who could divine what is from what is, pull any one way with purpose, win or lose at dice, laugh in the mirror, wish through the tunnels. Risk is juggled into difference.
I have met braves and cowards inside and out, trusted them equally. You or I, who could have been, lost point one day at the very spot where, years later, the accident would happen.
I cushion with the pads of my fingers the corners of a square mirror. Let me twist the sunlight until it blinds you with cheer.
I tell you what I look forward to: stopping in Arizona, who will meet me there. I've wanted to go for years but can't say why, and you are silent waiting for the story of what I leave.
A faint current tickles my sore. If I laugh you'll call me a liar. But I know when I look up at the TV I'll see yet another cheetah gnawing at the soft parts of a gazelle. Surprised prey and the voice-over explaining the order of nature are so like the newest plans for a well life.
Let me say I'm fine. There is no withholding, no gift or theft, just poisons breaking into sugar.
Copyright © 1996
Electronic Poetry Review