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Marc McKee

The Answer is Not More Reality


There is no answering for the past, it is already

beneath the water

and sinking

until, like anything else—a conversation

at a party, a tusk, granola—disaster’s decorations

bubble and froth at our feet.  Look

at all the stuff:

Tinsel. Crushed cans. Viscera

of unknown provenance.

No way I’m picking that up.

There is no already beneath the water,

the party tusk is sinking

into the conversation with anything else,

we up make have to stuff

only with tongues silverer.

After the party, you rinse the bottles.

After you rinse the bottles, you set them in rows.

After they are in rows, you name them

and to all the names

you try to tell the right story.  The past

can’t help it, it pushes you down

on a sidewalk split by long-vanished ice.

There is enough reality here

to catapult a rhinoceros,

to cover you from head to toe,

to soak the brief paper towel you are

but tell me something that goes

bounding beyond bounds,

there has to be something unreal

to make, to mend

these broken pieces into.



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