One Thing

Walking down Valencia. Nothing but clusters
of novelty shops, predictably vivid tacquerias. Talk 
about a loss for metaphor.

It’s a relief when all of a sudden I remember
my distaste for poetry of place. Everywhere I go
I like to lie down and watch television.
And I don’t eat much bread until late in the afternoon.

I keep thinking of one thing
from a reading I went to my last night
in Manhattan. The poet spoke in a manner
nearly laughable. By the time he reached the end
of a line, his words had slowed so greatly

it was as if a large bird had gradually lost its life.
Or a poorly tied object had been left dragging
behind a car during the recitation
and had finally succeeded and become
fully unfastened.

Nothing to be done. After having endured so much.

What he said was to the effect of
“we live in one moment but our minds want to behold
all of time.” What I mean by this is more.

I recall a night in my apartment
when it rained so hard
one was forced to speak of little else.

Though we had been apart for a time
and were determined to continue in that,
Evan came over on the train. I was so nervous
and afraid. Maybe I blamed it on the rain,
I don’t remember. So badly I wanted to say
and did say one thing.

This is one moment in time.

Afterwards I watched some trees leaning back and forth
out of soreness and grey sheets of lightning:
all out the window. Of course I cried.
It sounds tautological on paper. One moment.

I know I am going to move West soon. It isn’t
that I want that old thing back, but it would feel good
to sense the capability to preserve it. To contain it
within some vial to grasp even while moving
into something else. Time, we say,
always meaning the part that is something else.

And how it ends up that we always speak
of seeing it as a fear, because there is
nothing else to move into. So badly
I want to be able to keep that old part
of it at the same time.

I almost can believe myself when I say
I’m not trying to put it here right now.

Knowing, too, that like all of the best parts of things
it is the kind that can not be convinced to rest for long.
The kind that wants to evaporate even more
for the fact that you love it.

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