Figuring Out the Spread

Robert Lietz

Not the first to dream or make their case
for gravity, dreaming of falling parts, and not the first
to wonder that their words could fail to say so,

marveling the Mayday snows, gossiping April's
custodies, never the first but visible, and keen
as they'd come to be on doubt, talking off the top,

thinking to make some what? or anyhow stay put,
deciding, even as weathers must decide, to stand
on their luck and boasts of good stock simmering.

A man-- polite among the forms-- surveys the crimps
and registries, seeing what foods these cousins like,
inviting him to laugh, or saying what somebody

thought of him, laughing off the twists, dream-frauds
and hovering commotions/those tracks beneath
the sills, those barefoot tracks where bodies floated up,

presenting themselves to him like overnight deliveries.
Matters of fact maybe, the breathing pine made split
or blown apart to start a vigil, because the blooms

were overgrown, because they had gone ahead as told,
reeling with the peppers and engrossing cloves,
acting their own stuffed selves and x-ing vowels out,

assuming this ease to match the international reporting.
And what re-seeded lots, and what suburban
back-lots left to railroads, what foods these cousins like,

reveal less a world as is, reveal the tricks where voices
seem to rise from the construction, to speak
from the cement, from the surfaces made to glow

with cosmetic bristling, no longer exactly comfortable,
and always a little out of touch, no longer
amused in the old ways, to sharpen brunch-warmed

alphabets, spooking to glow from spore
-sprung desolations and veneers.

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The 2River View, 2_1 (Fall 1997)