87: coma, canto 30

canto 30

she said:
I froze, or, rather,
felt the muscles seize,
the same way children
might at the appearance
of a bus, a car, approaching
and the senses convey
swerve and soon, in the soonness
of immediacy, simple geometry,
and the impendingness of impend
ing crumple, blood, and shock,
the bus, the car will meet
and that the watcher is helpless
to act but hears afterward,
after the smoke and the crash,
and maybe a shout of godsaveus,
the voices say: don’t.

the world in its entirety changes.
the funny part being
other words she gave me,
a week before in the garage,
my father arranging all his things
to give away. My mother
followed him and said,
not that, not that, not that.
He said, all all all’s the only way.
For the god of all things
provides all and all is his.
Our ideas are his ideas.
Those algorithms have been made
by him already, snug in our
supple hemispheric curlups.
Not in my language, she said.
And especially not the garden barrels,
the sprinklers, the rakes and hoes,
the saws, my trusty old chainsaw,
small enough for one hand
on the trigger, for tight
maneuvers, when the snow,
if you recall, brings things
down and one after the other
we must clear the ground
and the path,
and he handed her the little chainsaw
that would a week later
so flummox his neurodoctor’s
hands, so flummock her voice.

still, they came with their stories.
They said: this and this and this
all free? No. He said: this is yours.
And this and this and this, too.
We lost our things in the crash, they said.
We’ve lost our jobs and have none
of these and these, these we
had to sell and so can get them
back for free? See our house
up the way, it’s not ours
but the bank’s,
then take this and this and this,
my father said,
but not that, my mother said,
who would hide
the things my father
forgot were not his to give
away, for how would they
heat their toast,
where would they rest
their coffee cups,
how will we watch the sun
go up and the sun go down,
hear the news,
light the reading room
where we read sometimes,
and how will you tap
out your letters and emails
if you give that away
and soon be asking to borrow mine,
and surely you don’t intend
to tie a wire
to conjoin two cans
for speaking at a distance?

but he demands all all all
and see all the people in the yard
combing through
this and this and this
and I had no idea
we had that and that and that
in the basement,
boxes of thats and thises,
racks of thisthats
and whatchamacallits
and see the people there.
We’d forget the needs of them,
suffering foreclosure,
jobloss, in their country
where the leaders
have gone to sleep,
the parents coming for a few toys,
the comfortless coming
for just a little of it, see?

she told me a few moments after,
she said, told me:
he said: he’s taken my fingers,
he’s taken my fingers.
He wants every part of me,
he does.

god, his fingers looked
like cruel little flowers
in the grass, suddenly grown,
and the blood down his arms
was the reddest red.

One Comment

  1. Posted August 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    For me, one of your best.

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