Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Exercise 1.

Ireneo Funes morning.

opened my eyes again,found the bed as I had left it,
drool on the pillow the shape of a continent I have never seen,
reaching down, my pants lay on the floor in the same place
they have fallen for thirty years,
the belt splayed,the inside out leg,
recalling, within a few millimeters,
the way the pants fell the first night
I shared this bed with you,
when your snore was more soprano than reedy tenor ,

and i put the pants on,bare feet on the cold floor,
remembering each leg I have owned,
the infant's floppy puppetry,
the awkward teenage gangle
and the sodden stumps I am headed towards,
remembering forwards
slid jeans over my soft fat legs,
walked into the fluorescent light
shaved just my cheeks,
my mouth still holding the shape

of every word I have spoken or not,

I brushed one third of my teeth,
the blunt brushes bristles bent
and worn from each day's
half-hearted saw and drag
across the slowly desolving enamel of
each tooth,each a little smaller

like stones on a riverbed of days,

tumbling through words and sandwiches,
and a countable, finite procession of breath.

waited for the bus,
and knew which one of the three
on the route it was,
the coffee stain on the third seat
from the November morning
when the fat woman jostled against the child,
now doubtless out of high school,
the greasy linoleum flooring
like the kitchen of my first apartment,
the fake wood grain
like the endpaper in a manual for insomniacs,
suggesting just a hint of a face.

Walked across the street,
the cobblestones weary
from the familiar scrape of my step,

thrice daily for fifteen years

into the familiar air of an office,
the wilting plant and smell of cheap coffee,
the yellowing plastic of a computer monitor,
the way the hand curves to the precise shape of the phone,
the ever slightly diminished pencils.

The world is in ebb,
retreating from the moment when I first saw you,
and everything clings to its dull certainty

with apologies to Jorge Luis Borges and thanks to the inestimably lovely Ms Rachel Mckibbens

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