The fever makes | certain | decisions for you | A bird, trying to build a nest | inside a flame | So the carpet is carried from | Askhabad | across the border to | Samarkand | protect it from dust, from sunlight and | brigands | And what is the pattern in the carpet? | Your face is | scraped by a razor of heat and glow | you won’t | reach your next birthday, now | And they say, and they say, This piece does not belong | in that set; and That piece has no business | here | grouped together with the wind and felt | Maybe it’s a Model 43.1, or | even more recent, a Model no. 44? // After death, your body is different | they dump it where they dump | the surplus fruit, in a | small declivity among the rocks where the snakes | linger and the scent | is sometimes overpowering… | It will be | a shapeless night | stack the spheres | of the moments | one on one | the tower | grows but | everyone knows it is useless (Such is your poetry) | and you wonder, idly | close to midnight | were you to fall in love in this state, would that | be a form of falsehood? | How is it done? | Three tiny eggs | of China blue | crack and out | creep three young birds | how may they live | inside the inferno? | It is their home, and | none other will do, they cannot | survive elsewhere, and as we put our | ears to the walls, and the sweet little bells | ring faster and faster, we | cannot make out | if that sound inside | is singing or burning?

At times, one must simply submit | to circumstances, and allow them | their reality | You are not strong | You are not free | You do not | know where you are, or | where the sun will hold you, tomorrow | The fever | sips from you | a pot of fire | and the wind | makes the awning flap | as if the tent | were a strange bird | and wished to fly | above the snow | beyond the limits of your fuss and fury | You lie | hapless and your edges | flow like the shadows | of candle flames | The peace | succours you | and you rest your head | back on the bolster | Isn’t this | a real thing, too? Is it really true, the only way | to open these eggs | is to break them?

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from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)

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