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Actually Present


I don’t remember you, but you keep coming back.

Is that what you think of me?

I’ve got two sick children. My little girl

has a hole in her belly

and we have to pour milk down her throat.

So much the better, make it difficult and meaningless

as when we turn into the park and hope

the conversation picks up somehow.

My heart wasn’t in it, I think you knew even then,

but I wanted to rearrange thin bars of thought

into a ladder-like system of total devotion to the present

in its fabulous vanity. You were beautiful to me,

your lapel against your chin and the orange light

flinging itself from your mouth.

At the top of the hill you could see all four walls,

it was windy,

the ceremony was invested with deepening resolve,

reflection, amazement, cast out of the boredom

at the center of all things.

I walked down the middle of the bus.

I took a photograph.

I read about a town in East Texas

where a crust lowered onto all nakedness,

then dusted away with every glance.

I plugged in my computer

and looked around at the mess

as you moved

through subtle modulations of texture

from one end of the room

to the other. Something

something something, something

something something.

from Ethical ConsciousnessFind more by Paul Killebrew at the library

Copyright © 2013 Paul Killebrew
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

Published in Paul Killebrew 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.