Poetry

Brilliant Disguise

BY


Touch a word and a world comes out. Fire.
Its captions, details. Fired clouds churning through a day.
Do you have any clue how many moons Saturn has?
I’ll read them to you: Titan, Enceladus, Rhea, Dione, Mimas,
Lapetus, Tephys, Hyperion, Epimetheus, Janus, Phoebe, Prometheus,
Pan, Helene, Pandora, Telesto, Calypso with a y, Anthe, Methone,

Pallene, Thryme, Polydeuces, Kiyluq, Narvi . . . it goes on for ages.
Look at these insects’ wings. Punctuation. Mourning cloaks.
They occupy space between our attentions, as barely risible
as anything else. Come on in. Find a chair. I abhor houseguests,
but then here you all are. We’ll deal. Divide the salad,
share the steaks, sop up the blood with bread.

We’re here. But only for that moment we’re actually here.
This one (one example) where I tell a homeless woman
I “never carry cash.” In this way, exactly, we preserve ourselves.
Have mercy on the man who doubts what he’s sure of:
the future, properly apprehended, is lag momentum, a first
set of lights. We are bad. We’re probably something worse.

This appeared in the January/February 2016 issue.

Kevin Connolly is a poetry editor at House of Anansi. He has authored collections including Drift, Revolver, and the upcoming Xiphoid Process.

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