One by one, I knew all the words. Until nothing
            was unrecognizable. I turned the objects in my hand,
               put them down on flea market tables, knowing
                  exactly what each thing was and what it did.
         I rummaged and dug to find the mysterious part,
            to handle the subtle machinery that exists
               outside my profession, experience and education.
         The molded Italian plastics smoothing in hand,
            the antique personal effects of past souls
               who lived unfathomable lives, these
                  had their place and knowable purpose.
         Overly designed forks and spoons, so many books in
            other languages, pointless details of objets d’art, all
               within my realm of understanding. Mystery had dwindled
                  to charm—just exotic curves of turtle bones in my mouth,
                     bulbous and strange, but unmistakable.

         But now to sit and weep with wonder at the arrangement
            of my own objects resting on an uneven floor, to witness
               an ever-settling house, to wake up again and feel powerless and
                  ignorant at last, to sense something beyond the unlikeliness
                     of the arrangement, I stir and feel my stomach grind.
         Everything is familiar. Everything apparent. But marked
            with the finality of impossible questions. I stretch my life
               over this armature of possessions, falling back clumsily
                  into the rocking chair. I move forward for some
                     new things, roll backward to adjust to others.
         Is this a freedom earned only by the humble? Leaning
            into the room, pausing. Turning once to look behind me.
               Seeing the room—only the room. Not one word.

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