Strange Ideation: A Hymn

Edward Sambrano III

We ate in restaurants every Thursday,

Gradually discovered the existence

Of prayer, the universe

Only sometimes tucking good news

Neatly in envelopes and slipping them

Under our empty apartment’s door, magical

Thinking an inoculation against reality.

Waiters peeked from their kitchens.

We uttered the word Food, closed our eyes,

And found a dish in front of us.

We colored photocopied illustrations

Of fruit using crayons made of wax

Plucked from the lobes of suffering’s ears.

The restaurants, we’re told,

Will be demolished overnight. Imagine

Calculating a way to lift the week’s

Dirty laundry despite history

Accumulating, dissolving

Our bodies into molecules

Adrift in air whenever we deny

Our namelessness, any chore

Impossible as a rough wind scatters

Our disorder: the insistence

Of memory, the overwhelming burden

Of the mundane, the immense mess of us

Sent tumbling like plastic bags

Slapping at store windows,

Every airborne speck

Once part of a neuron,

A chapped upper lip, the balm

Pressed to it, though the allure

Of a convenient narrative — the promise

Of a kernel of dense gravity

Inevitably resting in one’s chest, its sweet

Synoptic taste — still leads

Our atoms along their selfish,

Winding trajectories. Show me

The person who doesn’t yearn

For transcendence. I’ll become

Breadcrumbs beneath their feet,

Or travel to their kitchenette to bring

A pot of water to a boil as roaches scuttle

In my periphery. Listen: from your room

There’s a solitary voice singing

A hymn dedicated unknowingly

To itself. In a moment even the lampposts

Outside may join in.


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