hence the defenses
notes around the block or “every end is probably a rose”

as for the body

then i don’t let death explain it all —

don’t make it easy to imagine myself as

something else while i’m somewhere else

disintegration just means coming apart — going toward ever smaller bits —

that reminds me of an old poem called The Fish

The Fish

you ate swims now
in ever smaller pieces
through you to your blood

towards a dark room
where silver hooks
wait like dangerous thoughts

so i wouldn’t imagine myself something like a fish or pretend to be the fish

and talk to you like a fish as if i were a godforsodden fish i am something else —

one who thinks of fish and catches himself—an ambush actually—becoming less

himself but more necessarily some unfishy self where death burps off pretentions —

methane explanations of what joy what terror what deafness and blindness

what silly pride what lust what confusion what confusion what ordinary success

what sight what poses what loneliness what obedience what — you know —

love there was.


to such a spot comes a fish-free dream of birds and gentle cattle —

of big old trees and good friends and no one poor or sore or broken —

not one bit unhappy or ill-used. and a river.


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