The Uncertainty of the Poet

Michael Dumanis

Pressed in spring wool, wrapped in layers of white linen,

we have made camp in the imagined city,

enjoying its carousel and the occasional ice cream,

exchanging a passel of phrases with its other ghosts,

every word in the throat both a chasm and a choice

while time gets lost between the hulking alcoves

and molting birds. We zigzag each square

of this tilted city on pins

we have tangled our sounds in,

the sky a mystery we wander under

in figure-eights, in such infinities

of pattern we’ve lost track.

Thus, we arrange ourselves amid the statuary,

deciding to recuse ourselves from dying.

Have we succeeded yet?

If we had wings, would we fly everywhere,

riding the current of daylight?

A child rolls her hula hoop into the clock tower’s shadow,

a child we made to understand ourselves,

a shadow herself in a sunshine of shadows.

We rush to board the train as it whips past.


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