[2015 Tomaž Šalamun Prize finalist]
Time’s laceration let out upon a mahogany
doorstep. The kind we make up as children
in bed, alone. As if there was another option.
As if Mr. Panda could have been a different kind
of confidant. We’ll let feeling in for a moment
only to have it sutured, impossibly, to understanding,
like a saddled-beast lounging on the quarterdeck of this,
our present colloquium. We’ll let this we we have become
stumble off into the night, infantilized like so many
un-pursued dreamscapes. Some fourth person
would have to arrive, as if on her way to the depot
like a harried harbinger of ice-cold and forgotten departures.
Systems work. Molasses drips. Sanguine yearning
churns out of the cattle-press, always. Elaborate
please. The insufficiency at work in the hazy
construction of some kind of yesterday approaches
melancholy, at best. Meaning: do not become forensic.
Take the pictures, sure, but be careful only to document
the details matching the case, the important lineaments
frequenting this, desire’s current neoliberal expression.
Not, to be sure, the relevant dripping mucus on the mirror
nor the chaste notes rippling the flag. I like tumescence
as much as the next victim, but would prefer not to get
carried away on the back of some gryphon-steed as my tail feathers
wag toward the sky. I, not you, work conscientiously for
a million little dumb show matinees. Silent, they’re performed in
parking structures made from fiberglass and patience. Stalwart,
I tell you, they house forever-notes. Next time, get down.
Be careful with the perforated letter. She’ll unhouse you,
so close to the walkway as you are. The dappled smoke
seeping out of the sun connotes not requiems nor certainty.
Canned sentiment is perhaps killing our house pets. Or else
freedom has (perhaps) deleted our houseguests. The threshold
doesn’t mind the imperative I’m giving, the command from silent structures
to the trains that pass in the middle of the day, lonely on their eastward
wandering, and working toward dental transcendence, rollicking
their rhythm forward and through the densities of fine, trellised
woodwork. Post-arboretum sale, the delicacies purchased,
the light of them, their coma-inducing glare, capsized the moment.
Sure, queens of delight strode thoughtfully down lanes of embarkation,
distances folded together in their tresses, like panoplied andromedans,
like fore-warned, miscreant saboteurs on their way to endless satisfaction.