It doesn’t take much, really, for things to fall back into place,
just the natural course of gravity, or something obvious, like time.
Nothing will ever be the same again, said Bill,
but same is in our nature, something about being so heavy, landbound,
it’s our industry on this earth: mighty mammals, builders of cars, makers of calendars.
A few restaurants serve gumbo now, waiters smile and fill cups with water,
workers work and go home to watch television and dream
over soils returning to the same tempo,
and before the same tone of an unnotable morning. Sun rises and lifts around clouds.
People are more evident today. Yesterday was remarkable:
Henry finished painting: a radiant spread of blues and reds
rippling out from his porch over the skin of five houses, as if
abandonment could color wood, some comprehension of experience
by the inanimate, which today fades as fact. Henry won’t see it at all, his mind
reoccupied with that solid, warming feel of forward motion,
leaving yesterday abandoned on the lawn as artifact.
Later, an older man, drunk
and wandering the wrong way home,
will come upon the red-blue wave and note
how close we still live to destruction.
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