Impossible departure, impossible

arrival. How what you leave doesn't 
leave you and will not let you go. 
Every wheel's revolution 

across a cobbled street, every letter 
marked Return to Sender; shadows of
passing birds that graze the fields 
without touching. You read once 

that someone is always washing up 
on a shore somewhere, blinking 
in the new-old light, hefting 
a satchel that soon

mysteriously expands into a house 
with no more storage, not even in 
the garage. Your hand hovers
over a shelf of books: too late 

you remember the page you need to read 
lies in a taped-up box in a basement 
or attic elsewhere. Picking up styrofoam 
trays of chicken thighs or pork chops 

at the store, you marvel at how pink
and clean all the severed joints look, 
as if rosaries of feather or blood 
never blessed the butcher's block.

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