Life in Particular
Living is a horizontal fall.
If the baby on the faded billboard
really smiled before it was born—
If Maple Street were not a strip mall
with ample parking but no maple trees, no memory
of Adeste Fideles, your poodle with a trick patella
If the collared peccary did not eat
everything green: here a pear,
there a prick, everywhere a prickly pear,
on earth as it was in Arizona.
If javelina were to Arizona as flamingos
are to Florida: mental herds,
the pleasure of the icon
is all about the fold.
If origami were the oxymoron
of our childhood: no lovely boat
or graceful crane to tell or show.
I know you’d say the same
if our summer had not milfoiled
sea to glaring sequel.
If, in bloated boats, we had not pried
into the private lives of icons, and probed instead
the astral beauty of the rhubarb leaf.
Sad mime, romaine in hand:
let us cross the night sky
period—T for Time—into one
of those bored depressions in sand dollar
for dollar: this is the way to travel.