The poem has nothing
to say right now. The poem
wishes it were somewhere
else—stuffed alongside warm
socks in a drawer, or fishing
with a stick, some thread and
a comically cheerful bobber.
The poem and I once spoke when
it was in a chatty mood. It whispered
and winked like some heiress from
a 1930s screwball flick, it nuzzled
my shoulder and whinnied like a pony.
The poem said, “I wasn’t always like this.
You knew me when I was soot, or a
jonquil, or the chalky cracked grout
in your grandmother’s bathroom, you
watched when I painted your name
with crushed abalone deep inside a
cloud, but it couldn’t last, and I
don’t know why it couldn’t.”
We both smiled, the poem and I,
as it folded up into a tight ball,
became an origami of stillness.