The way the light looks this morning is strange,
like it’s coming from a different direction.
But it’s beautiful too,
like how mornings on other planets in sci-fi movies
are beautiful, with two suns or three moons.
Yesterday the sign on a construction site
by the doctor’s office said,
And so, when I got home,
I exfoliated my foot:
long, luminous rivulets of skin,
papery and apricot-colored.
I’ve been in a cast since August.
I haven’t walked on two feet for thirteen weeks.
My leg has atrophied,
is markedly shorter than the other,
while my arms and shoulders are incredibly muscular,
from constant use of a walker.
is a singular exclusion,
replaced by the flawlessness of tedium.
But within that tedium hides another kind of life:
like when I’m sitting at the kitchen table
and I turn away from the window,
and the flights of birds are reflected
in the shiny surface of formica,
and a woman passing by outside
smells like the fragrant breath of a laundry vent
from a red brick apartment building
that I passed one long ago Chicago October
when the orderly cleanliness of that scent
was merely a reminder
of an anxious evening’s lack of comfort:
the dark dirty kitchen,
the stained slop sink,
the oblique metal fittings
of an angry person’s wisdom —
death wish, fleshy kingdom —
a parasite’s suicide
which is really just a vast appetite for life.
Oh, you who were my poverty.
But the fetters of forgetfulness
and speak of another kind of purity,
maybe Lucifer’s purity,
(it must be an allegory
of the memory
of drunkards joining hands),
the romantic exuberance
What am I doing?
This isn’t memory,
but the illusion
a new cuteness
relating to history
and the everyday,
like the popularity
of Rachel Ray.
Fuck that chipmunk.
The real need right now
is to dust/sweep/mop,
toss away all nonsense,
take down those cardboard boxes,
replace them with expensive plastic boxes,
and find or design a system of efficient, color-coded filing.
And, most of all, pick my skin up off the floor,
start sending out submissions,
begin the aforementioned transition,
because the light this morning is strange
like it’s coming from another direction.