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Litany for Our Radical Engagement with the Material World

Objects around us are emitting light, transgressing,

           are discrete


           tropes, backdrops, ruination, lairs.

Objects around us are blank and seamless,

         suffer from an arbitrariness,

         are habitual or habitually


Objects around us can be carefully etched

               or stitched on top of our skins,

          dismantled and placed in the trunk of a cab.

Objects around us are Oh my God.

Objects around us shimmer in air-colored suits,

             in flesh-colored suits,

         are waiting to be caressed.

          They breakdance when we turn away.

Objects around us depend on fracture and fragment,

         are picked clean, derelict—


           like hostages without blindfolds

         or tout survivability

    by trilling in the wet grass.

Objects around us are durable,

             glow relentlessly

         as if they’re actually immortal.

Objects around us are not strangers.

              They are the ruins

              in which we drown.

Objects around us are expecting again,

         blanket things with feathers

    to offer refuge

         but tremble anyway.

Objects around us wrap us in compassion,

            sing an ode to something,

         take the long way home.

Objects around us are no substitute for anything.

Objects around us moan.

Objects around us wander the aisles,

              take everything of worth,

              flee, exit, make off, vamoose.

Objects around us dismantle the city.

The doors are wide open. Go in.

from CopiaFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2014
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Erika Meitner Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.