1: the end of the world and the beginning of everything else

the end of the world and the beginning of everything else

when Cruz opened the door he saw
a man holding a flower in a little white
cup, and Cruz asked him who and what are you
and the small skeletoned man with the flower
in his cup said he couldn’t remember his name
and that this must mean the end of the world

Cruz’s girlfriend Maricela asked about, called others,
while moving her fingers across the necks
of neighborhood cats with their tails like questions
and black thorns in their mouths, asking
on the phone about visitors and yes
they said–Father in Texas, Sue in Japan,
Morrell in Mexico, and Erasmus in Spain–
all told of the visitor who had no recollection

of his name but held a white cup and a pink flower
and stood at the door as if he’d just been shouldered
there, ordered to ring the bell, while the others fled
–and the time, the time Cruz wanted to know
and Maricela said they said at the same time
you opened the door and asked him who he was
and got nothing in return but an open mouth
and a flower in a white cup and then you
ordered him away because his accounting reminded
you of a broken lamp and a flower doomed to wither

how is it possible, Cruz asked, possible
that this could happen? It’s impossible for a man
to be in all those places at the same time
with a dead flower in a cup and possessing an account
of himself that would fool no one; just as impossible
as earthquakes on the moon or thanksgivings on Mars

and so, Cruz said, it must mean the end of the world
and the beginning of everything else and that periodically
–Maricela watched him, waited for him to end the thought–
that periodically the fabric of the world folds, many folds
meeting at random points, and this, he said, is how images
are made and change things forever, such as the image of a man
with a flower and a cup and a mouthfull of namelessness
walking away into a bluing afternoon nameless