Often, too great | to bear | Often, too, too small | The wind picks locks | in cavities, gaps under the foundations | near dawn | metal shop shutters | billow faintly and rattle | but no thieves come | Moments tumble out of our watches | if they could form a tiny, translucent mound, would we | tell one from another? | Midway once more | through the three failures | first | the failure to mean enough | second | the failure to be sufficiently meaningful | third | the failure, simply, to be | It’s a familiar | scenario | Always | just right to bear | the days with their sublime precision | still ground spare for burial | the sea with no taste | for regret or sorrow | and the ship as futile as the cargo

Houses floating on a flood of light | did you say you wanted to come back? | Fruit in season, peel off the banana skin | the sticker, black and gold, bearing the company logo | The mind has elsewhere | my mind | your mind | Ecuador or Mecca, Skye, Middlesbrough | a dry canyon in Peru | currents | winds | distant | lovers | From the headland, watch the tankers | queue for the refinery | like toy magnets | or grains of Thai rice | the moments | stick to each other | When the impossible, at last, arrives | cram the memories into their boxes | look beyond the stones | to the forest’s edge | where shadows negotiate their stories | learn again the modesty | of a name that always fails | to escape the gorgeous mire | of dusk, cedars, mosquitoes, mist | and fails, too | the first and most crucial test | to be alone, and so merely | to be no more than it is

 


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

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