Poetics

xxii

the heavy animal on ice, half thinking it needs water,

half thinking it needs a table mountain, to die,

something about the weight of a species.

you on the couch, all day, all week, watching

the animal hunt another, watching as the prey escapes,

sad this is how things must be. your apology the smell

of cigarette smoke from last week. then a yawn. and

the end of a species. and what’s pomegranate in Swahili?

blue for the curtain, the door opens to the commuter,

a man who brings you peanuts and beer and a body

of aging sandalwood and sweat (glass is made

in a pleasure dome with you and and the commuter and water and sand)

the man confused when you mention the chemicals

that have been killing us for years.

and when you open the door, there you are, like

I have never seen you: brown beret, Asia Minor eyebags, your face

full of water and the marks of a quiet war.

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