When I got home there were three pears
on the ornamental table.
Where I'd been?
It was nowhere wisdom fussed or shoved into
still-life or accoutrement.
A few aisles, maybe. Some canned goods.
I was the doctor with Imposter Syndrome.
I was the curator for fear of being art.
Like a glade turning to ice,
or the gold stripe in a red rope, imperceptible
was the difference between a conversation
and a “speech activity,”
until it wasn't.
Tough to have a face
in the late weather of Empire.
Hard to hear that one another
talking in the snow.
A snow-sheared, chemical glance stirs
a bit of pity in me—the smaller kind
removed from now for myself, in which I fit
and did so all along among the dethroned horses,
and general hubbub of the marketplaces,
each local and warm and similar
as a heart beholden of snow—
the gluey choke of goals
relinquished so mountainous and gladly
for brief and ample pleasures: friends, let's talk.