As if it were any other kind of communication that means what it says, not some kind of code to be deciphered.
As if it were code, where a single mistyped letter can change everything, and turn a webpage into the white screen of death.
As if you had nothing else to do: no news to skim, no email to hurry through, no other work, no purer entertainment.
As slowly as a lover performing oral sex: forget about me, what does the poem want?
As fast as a sunrise on the equator, so the mind won’t have any time to wander.
As if each line were an elaborate curse in some nearly extinct language with only four elderly speakers left, all of them converts to evangelical Christianity.
As if the stanzas were truly rooms, and not houses lined up on some quiet street.
As if the spirit killeth, but the letter giveth life.
As if it were perfectly useless and irrelevant to the cycle of discipline and indulgence we think of as real life.
As if each poem were an oracle just for you: a diagnosis from a physician, an interview with Human Resources, the suggestions of a therapist, the absolution given by a priest.
As if the real poem were buried like a deer tick ass-up in the flesh of your ear.