What endures

What endures rendition? How soon do you abandon

The face as human, like your face? Does essence flee first

Or stand the many things that come after—does

The soul keep coming back whispering just when

You’ve given over to a totally material world

Somehow sand had gotten in the bed

Dark metal walls, generous lamps, curtains

A bit too fru-fru for ones taste

Not Pynchon’s “unhealthy-looking palm”

But Stevens’ “palm at the end of the mind”

We know where it is: in Sevilla. Tall, the color of pale jade,

In the garden around the walls of the old city

Last the house that makes you think of —-

Heat and ants and mosquitoes and palmetto bugs

But you knew partridges from ducks

So were allowed to the next level, with flourishes, fanfare,

Though quickly it seemed like the same old work

taking something out of some somethings for

observation and analysis

Began to wonder if the previous occupant was still there

Until you discovered that you were the previous occupant

Check the progress of the calamity, would you,

Hope it’s not so crowded we can’t get in.

. . .

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