The Several Words I Have
You will never understand, try as you might,
a person other than yourself, controlling
an altogether different set of limbs. She was removing
her galoshes in the wet, insipid light. He was setting
the table for one, creasing the calm, paper napkin.
The world has lost its winters. We glisten in the sun,
each one of us a shiny obstacle to someone.
Is it the end of empathy? Of history? Who at this point,
navigating their browser through acres of weather,
has anything requiring being said? Why share
a knowledge no one wishes for? And is a poem just
a crack in time? Or is a poem time itself, continuing?
I may have mistaken motion for action
and action for proof, romping each night around
the phosphorescent dance floor, once a pretty dress
in a pretty hat, once a rumpled frog
under the awnings and parapets. My very appearance
at court caused astonishment. Now I recline
in my corner, delicate and mute, sheathing myself
in a leatherbound chair, shushing the migraine.
For whom did I mistake me, a president of some sort?
For who am I, a whistle in the exhaust?
It is all, nevertheless. I fail to tire of it.
I let go of the several words I have.
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