Mechanisms of Stasis
mechanisms of stasis
First published in Sixth Finch, 2016
With regard to simplicity, you too can have it.
All you need do is commit to a line,
stand in it long enough for reimbursement.
It is better to beckon than it is to chase.
This, you learn, is true of all animals—
particularly those yellow-eyed and culpable,
more so the flightless with a memory of pursuit.
But what can be applied to that kingdom
and not every pastel corner of this stale empire.
Wait for it, a toddler drops the torch
of dollar soft serve, falls to his knees to lap it up.
Last night, you called and I told you this.
I want nothing in life besides my own survival.
There is penury and there is elective
frugality. Their numbers are interchangeable,
but they are days of foreign worlds.
You touch a butterfly; you touch a moth.
Tell me how this makes you feel.
I know what I mean but I get lost in the language:
the metonymy of headache; the syllabic
tumble of a roller coaster overhead.
For this reason, and others it would be impossible
to explain what any flag portends: a flag
is a flag always meaning, its litany of abstracts
firming up in clear air. Saying only what
you need it to. In another life, I wrote
the dream of equanimity into existence.
I was minuscule but fearless. I subsisted on scarcely
anything. To beget stoicism, I have practiced it:
walking in time with these balled fists
beside me. Increasing the volume of mind
over the reverb of stomach. It is no use;
I was softened by want. It touched me and like milk,
I turned. It would be a necessarily complex
operation in excision, exiling what is worn
into living fibers. Love is a personality
type, if you find something broken to coddle
and only death can drag you off. I am not
there now. I am no longer there, but for aeons
that specious longing burst its fruit inside me.
Merely weeks ago, I wrote of this new freedom
and all that it demanded of me: choosing the right song
or managing my temperature, making room
when room was necessary. How I did come to tire.
I am leaning against this wilting stanchion.
I am waiting my queue right to the start of itself.