Pretend these are the rules
I like it best when the window is a mirror
I’ve opened slightly, so it reflects
before dawn the back of my computer and the top
of my kaleidoscope, and I look up 
from the keys, not at myself 
but where my fingers are sending letters 
I’ve invited to be words, and where my eye 
has rested against color, all of this 
printed to the last of the night, as if it’s you
and we’re talking about how things appear, 
and to prove it, one of us says, here they are,
appearing that way, while the other says,
here comes morning with its eraser 
of light. While all of this is going on,
my shoulders are stiff from the batting cage.
It’s like being a stapler after years 
of wanting that, how my upper body 
seems to pinch down and asks me to lower 
my arms as the light arrives and I see now 
there’s fog again, curtaining I feel 
for the sake of the curtain, not the behind, 
the reveal that will come when I’m still 
trying to decide how they are in any way my arms. 
The notion of possessing should be interrogated
by our cop shows, until I break down 
in the little room with its table and chairs, 
with its hope of violence, and admit 
I cannot summarize myself without referring 
to the boot-mark of the drunken painter,
who was going to burn the canvas 
until he noticed the accident 
of walking on it had put a shape in the field 
that marshalled the grass to defend 
its existence against the intruder. God, 
if someone said, you can’t mention painting 
ever again, I’d go to the market with one tongue 
behind my back. There: the top of the mountain 
has arrived, things are falling apart 
into the familiar nostalgia of how good 
meaning feels when it’s what you tell yourself 
you want most of all, and in that moment, 
it’s there to be had in the shape 
of a door knob you’ve turned so many times, 
the shine is gone, leaving a dull opening 
into a room of similar odds. If that was half
of our architecture, and at its limits
we were sewn to a bag with a wolverine inside,
or this extreme comfort of sense had to strike 
at least once a day a match in a room 
full of gas, there would be a bright howling 
more often than is the case. What would be gained 
by that, I don’t know, but I enjoy the sense 
that each second is both fierce in its defense 
of itself and indifferent to being petted 
by our recognition, like a knife 
happy to cut your throat or your apple, depending.
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