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The Minutes

Tarkovksy’s ‘Mirror’ won’t leave me alone,
images unendurably sad.
For minutes I can’t be held to account.
Email can’t reach me, devices go blank.
The rain outside a tautology.
My shit stinks and I do not want to die
yet immortality is not my thing.
The dog in sorrow nuzzles a ball
whose deflation is irresistible.
My son stirs in his sleep clasped to my arm.
My daughter’s silence, symbolism’s shame.
My wife drives alone through a northern night,
and sometimes when I’m coming home from work,
bundles of mist suspended like pale fish
in waters implausibly dark and clear
are snagged in the lure of my light and drown.
If I am not able, if I am not able,
if I am not able to put in words
all that you recount of that gay siege
that childhood laid at your pantry door
forgive me, I do not take dictation.
As I read my lips are seen to move,
as I move my limbs are dangled on a string.
I wonder what’s on breath’s nether side?
A gravel crunch sound-at-the-door key twist.
The surface clouds and the barking dogs.
You’re home and yet no one asked you to leave.
I’m lost in a cloud that is torn by fire.
If he does not come now he never will,
If he does not come…we are waiting still.


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