Spring morning in a small city
The day is squeezed through the city’s buildings
Like water through a whale’s baleen
Leaving people harmlessly stuck to offices and stairways
Pressed against a wall in a hallway or sitting at a cafe
Table on the sidewalk. I, too small to be a meal for time
and commerce, slip through, discarded, on the quiet street
With my coffee. The sky is the blue of a baby’s iris.
A baby as big as a galaxy who is far from forming
Thoughts cohesive enough to create a world.
The only clouds in the sky slip together
Over the street into a momentary shape, a character
in a language not native to me but familiar.
I watch it pull itself apart. The city places orange cones
Around me to protect me while I stare and take a picture.
When I get home I discover it is the Chinese character
For “write.” I sit down with some paper and a blue pen
But every word drifts in a different direction as soon
As I write it and the page is as firm and white
As the sclera of a baby’s eye, of a galaxy whose
Unformed thoughts are rolling inward. The city blinks and
Before anyone can take a picture the day smashes its tail
on the surface of afternoon and is gone into the depths.