In Rome, they forget
their time, though such
forgetting is an error
of sense. Forget an age
of shoe bomber, of underwear
detonator, of airplane
null. Forget American
Gosselin serialism: eight
children they do not
love; a dozen screens,
playing losing games.

These are all signs; bright
as a street corner,
audible as punks-with-beasts.

New York’s dowdy water
towers are sentinels
of a time unremarked, a decade, unremarkable.
Save for
the rise of protocol.


One day you are ordering extra
olives and the next day: one
of The Damned.

I had worked this carapace,
that I lived in: modular, notched,
pieces of oak. I built myself
of driftwood, cables.
My face forced yet nonchalant.
Sometimes I was an artist’s wife
my dress long, hair a sheaf
Sometimes I was an extra on
the show Cop Rock.
A singing policewoman
waiting for crimes.
I was pleated,
a follower, collateral
damage on the sands.
Sometimes I prevailed: a memo,
lithographic, afternoon-like, sharp-edged.

The stamp of unbelonging
had always belonged to me.
Soon I returned to anywhere
but the beginning.
Homes of cockroaches.
Sunken rooms of bruisers.
Islands of police Sirens.
Each year I lived was broken
back into pieces

of driftwood, as if born
to lose. An explosive device
in every fucking pot.

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