In my chest, a thin rain: A cento*

In my chest, a thin rain.

We played chess with empty matchboxes.
Meanwhile the dead, shedding pilled sweaters.

In streaming windowpanes, the look of others through
their own eyes—

The slightest taxidermy thrills me.
At times the air is so scented that we close our eyes.

Like human breath though regular,
if there were nothing in the world.

You fit like a fig in the thick of my tongue.
You stop the clock in your paltry chest.
The one that says choose, choose.

What can your past now say to you
that has never been said before?

 

In response to Via Negativa: Spiritual teacher.

(*Line sources: Dave Bonta, Ilya Kaminsky, Kathleen Aguero, John Ashbery,
Kevin Young, Arthur Rimbaud, Louise Gluck, Ravi Shankar, Tina Chang)

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