Sitting

You sit, spine straight
as a cane, aiming for
the center of each
ripple: that spot
where a may-
fly guttered, where
a thought-fish rose.
Unwatched, your face
begins to show
its phylogeny, relaxing
against the skull’s
upended cup.
You start to glow,
like any primate
being groomed — though
there’s no other.
The teacher’s long-
ago story has set
root: how the one
guard on duty left
his post because
he forgot the watch-
word, bought
himself a bottle &
drank & drank until
he forgot his own
name. So the city
was overrun: that’s
how you’re sitting.
Through the open window
the sound of rain like
the body’s finest hairs
whispering with static.
You sit as if you were
no longer waiting
for anything, as if your
bones were tired
of the drought, as if
they were ready to have
a word with Ezekiel
& bargain with the wind
for breath. If only
they weren’t sewn up
in a bag like field
mice in their cave
of grass, all fat
chance & blister.
I mean this grab
bag, this very poem,
so far from where
you sit.

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