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Poetry

Each day, for years, it gets up at first light, lets the dove out and stands in the doorway looking at the soft blue Arkansas sky without waking. But never you mind, it will be packing its small suitcase soon, it will leave the keys dangling from the lock and set out at last. Across the raven’s brook and barefoot through the pathless wood of books, already it is traveling toward me, somehow I know this. Though blinded as I leave the outer brilliance. Though the stench of urine hit me like a blow and once more, in the blink of an eye, I am back at my watch, pretty mauled by a vicious circle, right in the middle of raising a twenty pound shot glass toward the general vicinity of my lips the way a long-ruined jeweler might gradually guide, from long habit, the loupe to an empty eye-socket. But the suicides you always have with you. Maybe I’m just cruising around late at night; and waiting at what is already the longest red light in western history, no other car in sight, never will be, not in my private city, scared, sick. I’m the very lost person, the VLP, abandoned to man by himself this glass bottom space station; one more ragged meat bone we’ll always have haunting us, floating in a gray soup of its own filth and misery, what are you going to do. Let’s say later on I happen to hang a sharp left for no reason I can think of, at an unfamiliar corner, just in time to glimpse a small three-legged dog making his way down the dark sidewalk, and finally I ask to be given a new name, which nobody knows, and a new heart. In ascending progressions, the first dawn waves, traversing that universe where the more you disappear the more vividly present you become, where the slower the velocity the sooner the time of arrival, the answer is on its way.


The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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