Infinite Loop

Dear National Monuments and Galleries
featuring busts of presidents and dead
white men, a shrill noise comes through
the window and I recall the morning I left
home wearing an unironed blouse inside out.
The moon, we’re told, only reflects light
not its own: watery sliver, blade, glassy
shard. Do you sometimes hear bones unsettle
in the earth? Who knew the need to mark
what’s gone, what’s taken, could feel so
desperate? Yesterday, two children tugged
at the same dented toy in the damp sandbox,
saying no no no and mine or maybe yellow.
Well you know what? I want it too. I wish
the weather would mutate and deliver
plane tickets to somewhere benevolently
warm with blossoms. The cats stretch
languidly on the green papasan couch.
Do you ever wonder where they dump
“exotic” fruit from the special grocery
aisle after they’ve gone bad? I weep
for all the cherimoyas, the little cuts
of sugar cane, the horned melons…
I whipped around in the middle of the food
court, hearing Keri ko yan, charot!
Muscle atrophy, says the scientist. Use it
or lose it. None of this may be true or matter
in the end. But do you have any coffee?
The broken lawnmower sits there, rusting.
As I recall, Aunt Ruby was the one who said
the cattiest or most cutting things. As if
any grass could be mown down completely
with the tongue. I can’t stop picking
at old thoughts like scabs. And both
elbows are dark and slightly scaly.
Morning, noon, and smorgasbord, I long
and long and long. I still resent
the teacher who once said You’ll never
shine like Liberace
; mostly I think
she worshipped rhinestones and white
jackets. I could go on until I tell
myself: you’ve got to stop sometime.

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