Girl with hula hoop

The brown sedan in front on the road
is going too slowly, is stopping and starting

and stopping again, which leads your husband
to say what he often likes to say at times

like these: If you’re lost, pull over
meaning stop, take stock, reorient yourself

on the map. But the moving blue dot only behaves
like you, weaving uncertainly from side street

to highway then back to the rest stop where you’ll
reconfigure this part of the itinerary, backtrack

to the last point before you got distracted,
before you took the wrong exit and suddenly you

were on a bridge and the sign said, implausibly:
in 15 miles, New Jersey. And so it is with other

parts of whatever journey— You moped
for months in your rooms, wringing your hands

at the unchanging landscape of closets,
at the unexciting light you thought poured

day after day the way milk weakens the cup
of strong black tea. And you may have wanted

a change, may have wondered how some people
get to go about their business like actors

on a stage, dressed so wonderfully for the part;
like a singer about to deliver the throaty wound

that changes forever the placid atmosphere
floating as backdrop to the moment. But the moon

shone through the window as the man came up
the driveway and fumbled for his keys

on the doorstep— its silvered light fell too,
as if orchestrated by an illusionist’s assistant,

on an arrangement of pictures in the vestibule: one,
where a boy observes red carp leap through arteries

of streets; and another, where a girl on a green hill twirls
and twirls her bright hula hoop without worry, in place.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Tenement.

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