A cat can draw the blinds behind her eyes whenever she decides. Nothing alters in the stare itself but she's not there. Likewise a future can occlude: still sitting there, doing nothing rude.
If it please God, let less happen. Even out Earth's rondure, flatten Eiger, blanden the Grand Canyon. Make valleys slightly higher, widen fissures to arable land, remand your terrible glaciers and silence their calving, halving or doubling all geographical features toward the mean. Unlean against our hearts. Withdraw your grandeur from these parts.
THE NIAGARA RIVER
As though the river were a floor, we position our table and chairs upon it, eat, and have conversation. As it moves along, we notice — as calmly as though dining room paintings were being replaced — the changing scenes along the shore. We do know, we do know this is the Niagara River, but it is hard to remember what that means.
HOME TO ROOST
The chickens are circling and blotting out the day. The sun is bright, but the chickens are in the way. Yes, the sky is dark with chickens, dense with them. They turn and then they turn again. These are the chickens you let loose one at a time and small — various breeds. Now they have come home to roost—all the same kind at the same speed.
Their green flanks and swells are not flesh in any sense matching ours, we tell ourselves. Nor their green breast nor their green shoulder nor the languor of their rolling over.
THINGS SHOULDN'T BE SO HARD
A life should leave deep tracks: ruts where she went out and back to get the mail or move the hose around the yard; where she used to stand before the sink, a worn-out place; beneath her hand the china knobs rubbed down to white pastilles; the switch she used to feel for in the dark almost erased. Her things should keep her marks. The passage of a life should show; it should abrade. And when life stops, a certain space— however small — should be left scarred by the grand and damaging parade. Things shouldn't be so hard.