inanimate dregs


Ann Lauterbach
Comes sarcastic November in mummy garb, hauling,
same old same old what laid bare
what totaled. Sees thru the estimated costs, stench
collisions, inanimate dregs, remembers
the bruised figures, their
numerology as stars. Up up, down down
is how she counts as the hunters begin to hunt.

This is the plot of erasure, this the lavender bath.
Truth be known, the dark won by a landslide.

Yet friends in far January
await news of the front, cycling up the snow-clad hills.
They are to be exhumed from the grail of the keeper,
he who heralds what’s here. To them, send dreams
that pop open when breathed on
and ask them to complete this sentence:
If God is in the details, then …

But in the end there was only a chair covered in velvet
and the sibling, dark as a forest, turned into words.
There were the stamps with monsters
and the stamps with flowers,
there was a dumpster of old paint.
Even the egalitarian whimsy of the gold rush
is in partial view: harbor’s sleek hulls,
willow disintegrating in drapery and nonce.
What others did
taking us to task in the field, into archival maps
along a bank. What is it they wanted?
Among strangers, beyond the stamina of pictures
—the dancer on stage, his ruined feet,

                              as they would flail crops
                when the spring comes, and flood, and tassels
                                   rise, as my head—

Across the ballast’s drab plaster
a colder moment assumes shape.
And Thee, found inside eternity’s crawl space,
midget doctrine of reckless variety,
homing pigeon of whatever returns,
what is your method now and
how do you know when it is finished?
When it detaches, when it comes to life at the edge of time.

Photo by Kim Gorga on Unsplash

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