In A Small Town Where I Know Not A Soul
A man puts a folded map on the table, and a cloud of calm
nonrecognition, not alienating, encroaches him.
He sits by a table at the edge of a river, as if by predetermination.
She is taken away by later afternoon sunrays.
An outfit comes alive on her red bicycle in this early autumn.
At the other table across lovers’ heads and coffee pals’ shoulders,
a young woman with a long spoon stirs absent-mindedness in her cup.
A man of pockets and bags of souvenirs is peddling around, doggedly;
A backpacker comes along to ask for the direction to the cathedral
with a few awkward phrases from an Idiot’s Guide.
I drag myself along in a circle of strangeness defined by the nonchalant doves
whose consensus wings lift the earth-pecking life off the ground,
and I feel I am frequently suddenly lowered,
my selfhood being constantly formed and revised.
A familiar panic descends just on time, only to be hammered by church bells
into the green fissures between bricks.
As if lighter than the shadow of a cloud, I step
on the invisible footsteps that have been writing history
by erasing the past.
Oct. 2, 2008; Oct. 20, 2008 revision