Fire and Grammar
How is it you can miss what you still have?
Earlier versions crowding the chesterfield –
agrammatical. Backward run the sentences.
Broca’s area of the brain unable to manage.
Lordy, lordy, where’s the rapture gone?
What comes through the night – sensible in rainwear
and step-ins – a has-been. No heat to it whatsoever.
The past’s a train – tracks torn up. Rabbits and rodents
overrunning the rail-bed.
Everyone’s late to nostalgia: It’s where you have to go
on foot. Whinging over the cinders.
It’s not possible to be active in the past,
and passive sentences are a tedious think-through:
Headlamp to my hurrying feet, the future: What a mistake that was.
So busy with the finish, I forgot to burnish
the everyday brass: Sconce either side the daylit mirror.
Mirrors are lateral thinkers: Reverse left to right. Likewise,
the left brain talks to the right foot. Verticality, so far.
When you’re done for good, the one that’s full-length
shows the image upended.
Wittgenstein’s duck-rabbit has to be this or that,
but what happens when the barnyard empties?
Another way of putting it: Soon as it comes
into being, the past’s a fiction. The one you loved,
relocated there: Flensed to a few words, a paragraph maybe.
And yourself? Already, someone’s fingering the spine.