Am

John Levett

The slightest words define the most.
Am, for instance, filling up a life,
Expressing, if expression is compelled,
The body’s territorial extent;
Assertion’s power to concentrate
A colony of egos in
Their dusty settlements of skin.
Denials, deprecations, steppings down,
Apologies like mornings, wry with mist,
Assumptions of uniqueness, leaky dawns,
Fluorescent, repetitious afternoons,
And fragile nights with sprays of stars,
Each chip and bit, each lucid smithereen,
A glimpse inside what might have been,
A looking-glass of overripe
And tinily declarative
Boltholes
Speckled with defections and
Disfigured with this spreading black
That takes each thinning drift of breath
And will not give it back.