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
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.