To spoil the middle: the world
is a tough place to chew
your way through. No one famous
will say this. I sent up a handful
of letters with a handful of birds
and now a handful of people
believe I love them when I don’t.
What’s this curse that has me
confessing the right thing
to the wrong person? How now,
with only two remaining birds,
can I still not tell the one who
carries from the one who calls?
The radio plays a familiar song. It sounds like the season
where everyone begins to imagine their lives
in warmer places, what might have been
if only this, if given that. I don’t remember
the name of that season. I don’t remember
the name for this feeling. There are times
I’ve been sure that everything is a game,
that we are awake and dry and living
in a Portuguese town. I’ve been told enough
times what isn’t true. I’m sure I saw us
walking down a street, through a painting, in a home
someone claimed was burned. Who could pull off
such a hoax? This new world is strange,
but please tell me how strange.
This is an excerpt from Odette(New Michigan Press, 2016).