I was cleaning the garage and then
the garage was clean. The voice
from the radio sounded shocked
by another mass shooting
but went on about the government
officials and their take on the violence,
which had nothing to do with pain
but was instead about elections. I had to lie down.
The room hung like a little death in a dream.
If anything had moved it would have been
out of place. I didn’t want to lie down.
I went for a run. The sun
was going down. It hardly seemed real:
the color, the silence. Mothers listened
to the weather for school closures.
I got back after dark. The white shell
of frost was already mature, its raggedness
silky. It started to snow. Turkey bones
had been on a simmer. The house smelled
like celery. Polls say terrorism
is our top concern. There are no
more edible fish in Keuka Lake,
half as many cod in the Atlantic
fishery. I am sure when it comes
time to sell the house
the house will sell; the schools
are good, they tell me. I watch
the white moon, white snow, white
neighbors practiced in solitude. The one
with white hair told me to keep an eye
out for her son, newly released
from prison. The house would eventually
fall on its own. My habit is to break
weak thread, not usually to tear
a bandage off. Sometimes I forget completely
what impulsiveness is. Such audacity,
a brain telling me there is no name
for the things you have forgotten,
there is no name for things you do not know.
They are calling from an unnamable room
You have forgotten us, come back.
I will not forget their decree. I ask them
When will you comfort me. The world
has no angle to measure unless you draw
an imaginary line to cross it.