by Clare Hogan
We can cite the evidence: asbestos dust. Jagged fragments
of brick on the pavement. A window with no pane in it,
just fine grains of glass. Did the place explode?
Maybe not. One headline reads: Possible Building Explosion.
But how else to explain it? The HVAC sneezed.
God huffed and puffed, then blew your house down.
A tenant made of themselves a boomerang, so dense,
then whipped through. I know catastrophe. How long now
since I got my body back? (An exterior wall collapsed:
a thousand ghosts rushed out at once.) I may have been
sleeping, though I remember the dissection: my hip a handle,
my tongue a drawer, my back a wide table. My instep a cup
and my ankle its stem. (A bike tire, spokes awry, snapped
like so many tendons.) (No cataclysm. No homes lost.
We don’t know what’s happened. No need yet for tears.)
Now you see me (a gutted music box, no gears)—the life
back in this living wreck. (Two dozen sparrows breaking
from the ragweed not because of any tragedy, but because
they suddenly remembered their flight machine bodies
and wanted to test the air.) We can decide the disaster’s
no fact. One brave finch dips itself into the debris, comes up
with a bit of cloth in its grip. Here is a plot of land on which
we might build, if we can find a way to clear it. Here I am
coming to. Now seems as good a time as any for waking.