There has to be a way in
to the feelings in which
something is at stake
without sacrificing myself
(and my loves!) to serve
as tedious little idols—
there has to be a way
to feel without names—
When you left me
and I believed it was only for a while
I was quiet like a child
riding in the back of a pickup truck
doing 80 on the interstate
The stomach is a personality.
I describe my condition
to a self-loathing paragon
in an enormous gray basement.
It’s warm and there are dreams
in which the behavior
of kings is not observable.
Dream, give me access
to the mushy light,
it has my guesses
bundled in the interior.
It was a combination of inherited wealth,
asthma and chronic indigestion that made
Proust available to reflect at length
on the enormous collecting plate
of his observable feelings.
As a subject it proved to need
oceans of beer. French beer
is intermittently spectacular but
mainly it is skunked lager.
Change of subject meet my needs.
The war didn’t kill my great-grandfather,
What about myself
feels like a panic
of sleeping next to my own tree
The tangles are too various,
the designs on our Passacaglias
I am a dream of accompaniments
to absence, to solitude.
I’m awake it’s gloomy out it must be
almost my birthday the tilt of the earth
the letter of the law the terrible sorrow
that flows down through language
all of these are beautiful to me and resistant
to the closeness I want to feel
The dog comes closer, rests its snout on my clavicle
she doesn’t judge me for feeling no remorse
about forgetting those who abandon me
she’s a cockapoo rescue, she’s forgetting too
And you who say you’ll never leave me
Come closer let me just talk to you
What would I say I’ve learned
Let me change the question
What’s for breakfast