59: coma, canto 14

canto 14

one day
things and places
turned unfamiliar.

my apartment,
the woman I watched
from the balcony
who lived next door,
(taller, she seemed,
and when she raised
a coffee to me
in that peach-colored
tulip, she winked),
the little bottles,
the packages,
the implements
in the bathroom cabinet,
the cans,
bags, and boxes
on the kitchen shelves,
which I shook,
wondering about the rattles,
the globs and mashing
therein, wherein what?
I wondering,
wandering over rugs
that had become
strange languages,
I wondering,
pausing at faces staring
back at me with the blackness
of spiders’ eyes.

and the phones,
and the windows,
and the paintings,
and the notes
I’d written as reminders
of tomorrow’s words and colors
and conversations,
all unanticipatable now.
Such as, Call Mom,
and say what?

Henry called
and said, Let’s go
to the meadow
and walk there
through the flowers
and the bees.
I asked him: what meadow?
We live in the midst
of buildings. We live
above and surrounded
by baking stone,
birds that look
like crippled hands,
and other animals
whose casts of face
and casts of tail
suggest attack
by cornered creatures,
creatures lost, creatures afraid.
And in the sky
soon will come aliens
after us or meteors
hot with speed
and hot with memories
of thoughtless vectors
to pummel our inventions
and our skulls.

the one outside the city,
he said into the phone.
I said, Oh that one,
remembering that outside
of the city there were indeed,
indeed there were meadows
and mountains and other bird
forms, and I remembered
that even in the city,
there were indeed trees
and flowers and dogs
whose eyes threw feathers
at you and stopped
to watch and wonder
with wrinkled foreheads
how tall the buildings
could be, how wide the river
that turned under bridges
could be, how the sky,
birds, clouds, and oft-passing
passenger planes burned
against the silver windows,
and the wind would blow
and the smoke would clear
. . . sometimes.

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