inter.library.loans I

paperwork for strangers
is best left unfolded

since you don’t know how it’s filed
–whether in folios
          upright like reeds
–or envelopes
          dangling like wind-chimes
          from clotheslines

whose to say,
        the way
a stranger might file paperwork
        or not file it,
they might just pile it, up! up!
until it shifts under its own importance
        creating layers in eras
          we might discover
   after the roots have grown stiff
 and words are sap and honey.

paperwork for strangers
is intimate that way
      personal/impersonal
vital, lifelike, removed
written in secret–in a way–and not so
rushed. It takes time to say
  exactly what you mean
        to a stranger
        out of context
without clarification
  to say exactly what you mean
is best left unfolded
so as not to imply
            or assume
            or limit
the life of a document
      which you have sent away.

–ECW

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Poem 150

tempstate

I set my life on casters

intent on leaving,  certain

I would soon be gone

this resting ground, meant

only to slow the heavy inevitable

but I was stayed/weighed

by my own lovely fears

of moving, now that I had stopped

ah what trouble to begin again

my own limbs so clumbsy—

hapless with wheels and I

so wooden with apathy

the stubborn barbing of my soul

exchanging flecks of essence

with the things I hoped to waive

and the hollow carved from wandering

was at once a pleasant whole.

—ECW

Poem 142

thoughts on adoption

So graciously they came to flight

the hopeful helpless thunder feet

a wonder peril of sweetest destiny—

Hush the yellow breath of youth.

My mother was a dandelion;

a child of spring who—white tipped—

fall time scattered her loveliness a-gail.

& we were seed babies, the loneliest

of kinfolk. Trilling about in the southbound

winds, propellors. By night we

saught the dog star,

untangled leo’s mane,

unbuckled orion’s belt.

& we were happy—to be swept away

by high breezes / to root ourselves

amid gardens, beside blessed blooms

our hearts cracked open to reveal

a green gnawing to grow & like the mums

among us we were trimmed / pruned / fertilized.

But I wonder of my mother—a capricious weed.

If someday too I’ll flock my seeds

to be forgotten.

—ECW