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UntitledJorie Graham
Close
Close

Of the two dogs the car hit, one, two, while we were talking, and thinking about
                     how to change each
                     other’s
mind, the other people’s
                     survived – dark spot near the front
                     fender just hair blowing in low wind, a spot all wind’s, then
a stir in the ribs and everything’s rising slow-motion up from the tight small shoulders, the
                     chest, the
                     dragging hind end of itself on the dirt
                     road as if sewing a new strap
                     back
on, dragging, a long
                     moment, then the
                     division occurs and the wide perishing shrinks and the legs
                     are four again and
                     up. Not ours. Ours
is placed by gravity on the far bank, as if an as yet unbuilt unimagined house on the
                     empty field into which
                     one peers past mist
                     wondering how will or
concentration or want alone will bring the as-yet-not thing into view. What will it take to
                     build the
                     thing? The not yet, not anymore, not
                     again? That. Wouldn’t the beautiful field be best left
alone? unfilled? No. Now the children are folding
                     over it and sound
                     is restored and it is the only human
world, something perished on the road, it was its turn, you have your turn says the road I
                     stare blankly
                     at, white dust,
                     thinking there are words now
                     that must take the
                     place of this
                     creature, and I
am at the point in the road where I, who will have lived, no matter how many thousands
                     of years in the future come, if they come,
even if there are no more humans then or they have become unrecognisable, I,
                     even when no rain will have come down
                     in the memory of generations
so they think the story of such an element is one of the myths, the empty
                     myths, I still will have
                     lived this day and all the preceding ones of my
                     person, mine, as I rise now
                     to the moment when right words
                     are needed – Dear moon
this morning I woke up, I thought the room for an instant was a blossoming, then a
                     burning cell, then a thing
changing its clothes, huge transparent clothes, the ceiling part of the neck, where is
                     the head I thought, of the year, this
                     year, where are the eyes of
                     the years – the years, can we stay human, will we slow the end
                     down, how much, what do we have to promise, how think our way
                     from here to
                     there – and human life survived – and its world – ah, room, the
                     words – has it been just
luck, the room now wild with winds of centuries swirling floods tectonic plates like wide
bones shifting round me – elephants flow through, all gone, volcanoes emerging and
disappearing just like that, didn’t even really get to see them, pestilence, there, it took its
people, hurricane, there, it took its – ‘you’re a
                     martian’ I heard the angry child cry out on the street
                     below to the other
child, and the door slams, and the only story I know, my head, my century, the one where
187 million perished in wars, massacre, persecution, famine – all policy induced – is the
                     one out of which
                     I must find the reason
for the loved still-young creature being carried now onto the family lawn as they try
                     everything, and all murmurs shroud hum cry instruct, and all the
                     six arms gleam, firm, limp, all over it, caresses, tentacular
surround of the never-again, rush of blood and words, although look, you out there
                     peering in, listening, to see who we were: here: this was history:
                     their turn
                     is all they actually have
flowing in them.

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