Stay, illusion! —HORATIO
You, shadow I could name after nothing,
silent inside some circuitry’s breathing,
you don’t see me, but I’m what seems to be
biting my way through April’s clamped blossoms,
a busted alarm for lack of vespers,
better things to do for lack of a cause.
I yield back the balance of my safety,
gladly, unless it’s all gone, in which case
I yield back my monopoly on me.
Splintered water—not ice, but fractured drops
if that’s possible, which it seems to be—
there’s that word again, “seems”: I don’t know it
or know it only in my ignorance,
so where was I? Of course: splintered water—
not ice, but fractured drops—each could in time
become a lens through which you might catch me,
though they can’t yet be fashioned for such use,
however pictured they may come to be
or not be in the blindness between us.
Through one or many more faults of my own,
notions to which I might’ve clung collapse
and I would call that the end of the sound
of thoughts arriving from another mind
only to return to their own nowhere
as strained and as disabled as they came.
There comes a time when one is far too young
to be answerable to anyone,
but this can’t be the case for very long.
About the rain, I was given the wrong
information, but not about the song
about the rally to a yearly low
that would erase us back to nature.
Much later, comma, illusory stone,
rooms of it, some feeling in its debris
wished out, and yet this isn’t how it sounds:
another branch from which to pull lemons,
another reason not to chrome the moon.
I live with you barely in front of me,
and patience is another kind of time,
but if for better or less than okay
today won’t outlive itself by a day,
don’t cry—besides, tatters can be pretty,
and in the near midst of its losing me
my mind wants memory, not history,
history having been drained of excess
or maybe filled with excess’s opposite:
you, shadow, outgoingly unholy,
whom I now name after nothing but this.
Copyright © Graham Foust
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.