The world rots and then, in Georgia, it barks,
coming to life again, and turns into brown kudzu.
They mow their grass like it matters, city-folk,
expecting the quiet subjugation of appearances
to ring the bell and hide. Carry composed
dissatisfaction like a rectangular stone and never
forget what sort of rock you’ve become. Ashbery
stands in the kitchen making a sandwich. I broke
the toaster on account of my bad mood, waiting
for the actuary to sign my employment papers,
a confirmed effort, declaration of a silent
understanding that things are oiled and wet:
the sweat slicks off corporeal meeting and ruins
the white sheets. How is our blue algebra divided?
I take a numerator for my wife, leave an accountant
the rest of your pity. Primary emotion leaks
into my conversations about the Pope, I feel guilty
about old white men and their powerless bodies.
How would it be to wear a hat for all my days?
Maybe like driving a car for the first time, manual
windows rolled down and a soft black stick shift.
Maybe like the glossy face of an iPad telling me
the orderly nature of my dates on a calendar
and what numbers the weather shall be (awake,
shouting when we decide not to save the first hour
of the sacred day). A county hospital glows on
account of electron accumulation: the loans have
been subsidized and oxidated. I am just a complex
salt. How will we plant a new tree if this apple decays
in the jar? Hand it some purple Anglo-Saxon name, ask
the government to supervise its development.
These are the yellow facts: the smell of crisp winter
creeps through a narrow sidewalk I create with my eyes.
A blessing, to laugh knowing the absurd windfall
of stagnant living (platitudes made into stone slabs
we dance on when we can’t think straight, I smile
because it’s my turn again) favors the weak and crawling.