If none of the rest of this were true,
         what would I be?
         Unfolding and steady, a new season.
         The planet or God. A kite.
         A single girl—tourist—walking
         or standing. A statue of myself.
         Or something abstract, someone’s
         idea of himself, a mathematical concept,
         the dedication or theme of
         a group of poems. Something else.
         A mineral. A plant.
         I remember a neighbor’s black dog
         from my childhood. How lonely
         to be a dog, I thought at the time.
         A dog’s loneliness. Constant stranger,
         dark-haired, seen from behind and
         walking away. A particular route.
         A discovery. A movement among
         the people. Funny, that.

         What have I learned?
         Overheard voices, even the way
         they fade in and out in unfamiliar languages,
         are musical and dramatic. Pressure
         builds and opportunities unwind.
         The obvious: development comes
         with every situation. The lessons of aging,
         so far. Some poets learn the truth.
         If I were any of those other things
         much of the world would be as it is.
         I have learned the visual deception of lines,
         the visual edge of clouds hovering over buildings.
         Real, hard edges are often
         disappointments: things—objects—end.
         To count. To recite. To respond.
         I imagine without consequences. I have
         learned the forgetting of dreams.
         Any spirit is alone in the universe.
         The universe, in math, adds up to one.

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