everyone knows about the woman who fell in love with the bridge
but no one cares how the bridge felt after.
everyone knows about the poet who leapt from the deck of a ship
but not how the boat lifted & bloated in his wake like a white infant
spread over the bed of a lake.
we leave our objects behind us. we collect our dead’s leavings & listen
for their breathing in the soft mouths of gloves. we believe them.
i care too much & still have the dead boy’s red sweater. i tongue
the wound. i tender this mule. i unravel quick my flesh debt.
every word an object in my dark wet house. everyone asks after
the living but no one cares how the cotton sobs in my mouth.
i am become warehouse : i am destroy speech.
everyone knows the poet fell from the bridge because he jumped.
no one cares there’s nothing left for us but his poems
not even a simple plaque drilled into the bridge’s throat reads :
this is where the man lived
this is where the man broke
this is the man
this is the man stretched
between two cold cities
you are standing
on his back.
Copyright © 2016 by sam sax. “Objectophile” originally appeared in Meridian. Reprinted with permission of the author.