The Answer is Not More Reality
There is no answering for the past, it is already
beneath the water
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.