NOT TO WRITE That was then, which is not now. The story begins or ends. For that matter, she said, personality comes from the brain, right? Not enough oxygen there. The story comes to a halt. What's it made of? Not now. It's actually made of articles, ornate, carved, reflected in a long pier mirror. Furniture the backdrop. What I was looking for: a way in, named and renamed. The same place. Water running, the sound of pipes behind walls. I'm there, or was, then. Not to say now, where the story edges up, pulls back. Salt on a slug. The mirror shows a wall some windows. What about the untoward remarks? There's a donkey walking down a street, any street, when it bumps into the sun. The air is thin, particulate. But that's at the middle. Where do I go from here? BRIDGE Arms thrown to span (motion of control) unmapped territory from one embrace to another This is not anonymous, this could not be more personal a wanting that holds (nothing definitive about seed and seedling) yet what settles, a pattern, a way of life (mythical bodies burnished and wrought along the way) when we become without notice or warning those lovers cloaked, ambivalent, too worn to remember the original shape One conversation to another, fingers neatly clasped What do you think of when you think of me wide open mouth big question lips swollen with words and the thing forgotten pulled tightly inward, an impression of distance (wild) begonia, rose and eucalyptus (floral as imagined), sparks with suddenness a hand up, a hand inside temptation to crush against to ignite this tyrant remains on the back of my tongue, says: Love is not precisely an endless during which (my heart beats faster) FILLED WITH the man's voice against concrete cold winded, winding about wires crossed and those untouched. There are wounds, he says. Trains run, footsteps as background. Not thinking of the child. Her pretty hair, pulling at her ears, the pain there. Internal and an effort to block the words. (Not thinking of me, I think.) Empty hands, bright office light late at night. The man enters, pushes at a door that doesn't give easily. It's a hard sell. The wounds, he points. The child now curled up beneath covers. A draft comes with the man. That sound of cold, electric shock in the cold, I sit through. A moment of dream of calm. SPARRING 1 The truth is the loss is contained. Variable, at times contestable. Not always a good fit. 2 Tongue wavers. Retreats. Tongue ready, but reticent. Ready against the roof of my mouth Words like need, deeper, more 3 The truth is the truth is often a run on as in: I love all that you do to me endlessly no end 4 But I have discovered it too in the flesh 5 Return: all belongings left accidentally or otherwise. In a box; a small package; by boat or book rate or slower means. 6 The truth is a sudden realization that shoes do not necessarily run true to size. 7 I read in a book: The risks are the same. The truth is, when you have a tremendous passion, it stops. VIEW She's a hawk that one, sees things that aren't there. Sees things that are. Feathers up, back up. Somewhere between perception and ephemera. Where they criss-cross, there's neither loss nor fixed image. Yes and no. Or knowing better, there's freedom in confusion. Yet she's balanced there, perched. She takes in details: the weave of a lapel. Exact wave of hair around the ear. She-hawk squawks. Softly then angrily. What sort of self goes fishing without the right equipment? Carnivore? Fish-eater? Worm-eater? I know nothing about the diet of hawks, but their cool obsessiveness, I see soaring over pristine mountain lakes, and then routine. She-hawk swoops low, an arc, low screech. I am then, in a single place, starting point: nest of thread, muscle, flecked steel. NO TERRITORY IS NEUTRAL In another verse, I thought of sparrows, but wrote swallows. Deep in the throat where tiny bones catch. Or high in the lower left quadrant of sky. What blue was it? A cleaving. I realize my heroes are singular. Cerulean by chance? Certain fingers memorized like the lines of a face in total darkness. Nothing personal, nothing that couldn't be scrawled on a postcard. Messages careful- ly stenciled on verso. Where language lets go. I remember certain fingers down to the cuticle. Neither the last moment nor the first, neither less nor more. Spindle webs of tree tide up to window washing the upper portion with sky (today deep blue). Light muddled, or not at all. This territory is the whole world, the creak the creak in a traveler's steps. Sky contained in the lost sentence, the last left to go. Had they rummaged? someone asks. Surely, I reply, surely. Now I know, though, no need to accede, to acknowledge. No need to run rampant back and back around or to hold a word fluttering up. No need to grasp the incontrovertible or what fits in small boxes on a shelf, a pier; on the present wind of things caught by their own shadow or the shadow, a catapult toward abundance.
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