from Angle of Yaw
HE HAD ENOUGH RESPECT FOR PAINTING to quit. Enough respect
for quitting to paint. Enough respect for the figure to abstract.
For abstraction to hint at the breast. For the breast to ask the
model to leave. But I live here, says the model. And I respect that,
says the painter. But I have enough respect for respect to insist.
For insistence to turn the other cheek. For the other cheek to turn
the other cheek. Hence I appear to be shaking my head No.
ROTATES about its longitudinal axis, shifting the equinoxes
slowly west. Our system of measure is anchored by the apparent daily
motion of stars that no longer exist. When the reader comes to,
the writer hits him again. Just in case God isn’t dead, our
astronauts carry side arms. This is not your captain speaking, thinks
the captain. A magnetic field reversal turns our fire friendly.
Fleeing populations leave their bread unleavened, their lines unbroken.
has a minutely serrate margin, like a poem. There ends analogy.
A dying process. At the border of the cornea and sclera, a momentary
wavering. Excluded from beatific vision, but not condemned to further
punishment. In the dream she told me she felt fine. Like dust. To
what shall we liken analogy, if not to hypermetropia. These carpets
are the color of migraine. Note to self: change your life. I assume
the palmate antlers of hoofed mammals have so often been likened
to candelabra I’m not even going to try. Boy, you got trouble
in your head. Every time, he says, breasts are described in the
poems of men, a woman undergoes mastectomy. I said he says to gain
some credibility, which is a privileged form of distance. This one
goes out to my paternal Grandma Elsie, short for Elsewhere, whom
I never met. This one goes out to Grandma Rosie, who couldn’t
remember her first cancer by the time she died of being ready. Her
ashes are on a shelf in Cambridge. Awaiting scattering. Note to
self: don’t publish this. Besides the half-dead and their
families, everybody in the home was from the Indies. Carpets the
color of. We administered music and morphine. For ninety-four years,
she had performed her gender admirably. Anyway, this isn’t
a time or a place. But the day she died some punk nearly hit me
with his bike, parked it, and got all in my face. Boy, you got trouble
in your head. I started to cry. Like a woman, he said. As if to
give me strength.