Darwinist Logic on Unrequited Love

To begin with the end, what the rain
          did not uncover. A teacup overflows,
we call it a spill; a riverbed overflows, we
          call it a flood, what it is to be

swept away. Great is the power of steady
          misrepresentation, writes Darwin. I like
things that light up on their own—
          the headlights on my new car when we

drive under a bridge. I like how
          it doesn’t distinguish between different types
of darkness. Darwin again: I am not
          the least afraid to die. Well,

I burned my thumb last night
          on the kettle, distracted
by the buzzing of my phone—
          my mother again. There is still some pleasure

in dissection—what admirably
          well-adapted movements
the tip of a root possesses. I like things
          that come apart easily

in my hands—dried leaves, clumps of sugar—
          Do you remember, before wireless,
when to unplug meant getting
          on your knees to jerk the cord from the wall? Now

if you want to disconnect,
          you have to ask nicely. Off/on;
let go/resurrect—the game your mind plays
          in dreams, holding him up—no, a simulacrum

slipping its cage in my consciousness. Daytime
          calls me to wakefulness, its dog home
from the walk, from the bewildering folly
          of weather. Turns out these purple statices

on the dresser stand for
          remembrance but I don’t need
any help remembering. They are right
          in front of me—they have fully loaded.
 

Related Poems

Ode to the Air Traffic Controller

Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, Townsville,
Belém, Durban, Lima, Xai-Xai planes
with wingspans big as high schools
eight hundred nine hundred tons a piece
gone like pollen, cumulus cirrus
altostratus nimbostratus people getting skinny
just trying to lose weight and the sky
the biggest thing anyone ever thought of
Acceptance, Vancouver, Tehran, Maui
school children balloons light blue nothing
one goes away not forever, in fact
most people, at least if you are flying
Delta, come down in Salt Lake City
Fairbanks, Kobe, Aukland, Anchorage
from Cleveland a hundred Hawaii-bound Germans
are coming in low, not to say too low
just low pull up Amsterdam pull up Miami
historically a very high-strung bunch
smokers eaters tiny planes must circle
we have bigger problems on our hands
New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris
the boy who has been ignoring dinner
throws thirteen paper planes out the window
does it look like this? Tashkent, Nome, Rio,
Hobart, yes yes it looks just like that
now do your homework Capetown Capetown
lots of rain good on one good on two
go three go four go five go six
Mau, Brak, Zella, Ghat, an African parade
good on two good on three
please speak English please speak English
good on five good on six gentlemen:
the world will let us down many times
but it will never run out of coffee
hooray! for Lagos, Accra, Freetown, Dakar
your son is on the telephone the Germans
landed safely Seattle off to Istanbul
tiny planes please circle oh tiny planes
do please please circle