itinerary (new colossus)
One dream I have is the voice of the statue is gunfire.
Mother calls, the landlord calls—the line is silent.
I watch myself decompose in the mirror a minute.
I check for bites. I check nothing’s left of the oats.
I wait for a word to appear in my alphabet soup.
My friends swoop down like owls and fly into the wall.
Tell me what I owe, and screech, and fly into the wall.
I wash myself and think how mother dressed a wound.
I dress myself and think how father cleaned a fish.
Heidegger tells me three dangers threaten thinking:
one I call liberty, one I call oats, one I call what I owe.
Soon the landlord will come and admire my soot.
His heaps, he wonders, which of his heaps will he bless?
His hand inside my hand is like holding a handful
of poppies, or a handkerchief a child dipped in milk.
When I leave I’ll count the women without children.
If I don’t I’ll count their children’s broken guns.
The train to work will stall beneath the river.
I’ll try not to say how close the end of self comes:
like a handful of poppies, or the bowl they rest in,
or the water filling them both—each possesses
nothing the water coming through the window won’t.
Soon I have a dream I take the city down with me.
I strike the name of my company from the building.
A friend writes the word wisteria and disappears.
The elevator falls a story—I use the word god.
A man I’ve met introduces himself and collapses.
Soon the bees forget. Soon the colony collapses.
I tell one of the workers to tell me how she works.
How I work is my business, she says, and collapses.
Home I undress how my father rinses an apple.
I rinse my mouth how my mother undresses a man.
The play I see is the man playing me collapses.
The woman I see is the voice of a gun when it backfires.
One dream I have is you visit me, Emma Lazarus.
One must bless his heaps is all you’ll tell me.
One I call colony, one I call soon, one I call what collapses.