There is absolutely nothing lonelier
than the little Mars rover
never shutting down, digging up
rocks, so far away from Bond street
in a light rain. I wonder
if he makes little beeps? If so
he is lonelier still. He fires a laser
into the dust. He coughs. A shiny
thing in the sand turns out to be his.
Copyright © 2014 by Matthew Rohrer. Used with permission of the author.
I usually wake up with acquisition
I make myself the tallest pine;
I have more birds on me
The sun hits my head
first—it’s cooled a bit
by the time it gets to your head.
I thought I’d get the most
if all the good saw me first
and affably went there.
It was sound,
my lightning rod approach.
was that when the bad was coming
it also saw me first,
and would match its force
to my height in a way
that, I’m sure, if I had a stutter
or a limp
would be lessened.
In any case,
it’s time to get lowly.
Put on a formless gown
and call it a shroud
for your vanity, a gold braid
o’er your forehead
or a word you have
to everyone at the table.
Even if it wasn’t vanity, but hunger.
Even if it was mostly enthusiasm
and affectionate regard. An invitation
to join (less like “participate”
and more like “become an actual part of,”
cutting a part off so it fits
more snugly with the other part.)
Now you have a bed.
Now you have a table.
If the wood is still living
we’ll make not furniture
but a living structure:
We can do what we call grafting.
This too requires a bit of cutting.
A dormant bud
can be cut and grafted,
as can a young shoot,
but in all cases
the point of vascular connection
can end up weak
due to the varying strengths
of the two formerly distinct tissues.
Once I blew my nose in a cafe
despite the number of approximate men
in beautiful sweaters and I knew
I’d become another thing.
Now when a block is sawed up
it is made into implements.
The finest sculptor carves
the least. In this way,
the block rests
within all that is limitless.
Copyright © 2014 by Hannah Gamble. Used with permission of the author.