This is the part where you think you don’t

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This is the part where, you think, you don’t know anything, for surely if you knew something, you would feel compelled to say something, unlike, you think, the other part when you knew something and didn’t say anything—that past part, the long part, the part eating up your life, the part you tell yourself you’re not in now. Tell and tell.

This is the part where you try to act like life is the same but you can’t because it’s not.

Always behind any surface that you show, it’s like you’re some cartoon character who—running away from some danger—has sawed a hole in the floor only to fall through it a long, long time and end up on the opposite side of the world. But no matter where you are, run away and it will keep you running. You think. You think that, but you don’t believe it.

Then one day you know this part you seem to have fallen into is really going nowhere—it’s static, it’s like waiting but not waiting for anything in particular, or maybe forgetting what you’re waiting for—but it’s just the waiting part, a part without the usual parts of waiting like being patient or impatient, like checking and checking the time, like daydreaming at a stop light or idly flipping through a magazine in some waiting room. It’s not that kind of waiting.

It’s waiting that’s a kind of absolute stillness in which you’ve stopped trying to know anything because there are so many things you know that you wish you didn’t. The phone bills, the messages—endearments, pleas—not meant for you but written nonetheless in searing letters in the front of your mind.

Maybe you were waiting to know but when you knew, the waiting didn’t stop. Maybe you gave up on knowing—so much transportation, so many ways to get to the wrong place. All those other things you didn’t think about then or didn’t do—doors you opened when you should have been locking them, things you looked into when you really should have run away. Now there’s no not knowing.

And now you know what part this is. This is the part where you keep in deep silence the other’s secret, the secret that is also the secret of how you’ve been wounded, the burden of it, this part where all that’s left of you is where the secret is, the part where the other’s secret is all you have left of him.

 

 

 

 

And now it is

And now it is. You are who.
You are not who you are.
You are who you are not.
We are out reaching our touch.
We are who you. Yes, true.
Everybody is knowing.
We know every body. When is
our seahorse and our spinster?
We get in there and squeeze.
We engineer. We made the moon.
The daily do deemed.
The creep in the ceiling. Skin.
Even your atomic weight. Vote.
Our bomb parade smacks the book.
Our armored interface a maze.
Our retrograde clock out.
Our radiation is an open door.
And our pen’s a knife.

 

Lost in Transit

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When you pull your old self out to show,
the dead you don’t know and the dead you do
come smiling recognition who you are:
just nothing but what they think they know.

Shirt like lost dog on suburban corner
or sneaker highway-side, the occasional
eyeglasses, apron, longjohns, brassiere
next to those places we all pass by–

so much for us and the people we know,
even when they lie next to us night by night.
The old self-us they dream, while we’re in flight.

Waiting, Not Knowing

It’s waiting and not knowing that’s the worst
that’s what people say in the in-between
to hope not knowing’s worse than what we’ll lose
to hold off what once known will be an end.
Waiting can make time slowly orbit round
where not knowing is something of relief
or cast the mind far out where it will drown
in dark futures that populate our sleep.
But knowing doesn’t cancel waiting out
when waiting’s filled with futures that have passed
filled up with what we do not want to know
a memory of worry that will last.
Even so, knowing can be worse than not
and waiting’s knowing if that’s all we’ve got.