Setting out, late, to a new location | what will our thoughts do to it? | Putting the past “behind us”, and “looking ahead” — the space of time | naturally | set to the arrangements of our bodies | a geography of toys | the landscape seen through a show | of magic lantern slides | or lit in the optical theatre | a scene in a diorama | Death, apparently, is utterly blank: no one | goes there | Featureless, and uninhabited — not even a desert | or an icy pole, not even | the perfect emptiness of a summer sky | We collapse the tent | of our orgasm | the orchestra | packs up its instruments | the choir | checks times for metros and buses | the angels | instead of singing | put down their lyres | switch on the TV, turn | to cheetahs or Brittany or guns | And the new location | begins to slide towards us | the pink blossoms on wet black tarmac | through brief, abrupt rain | outside the club | where they have good DJs, a great | sound system | or the caves where the hermits live | refining their spirits | unquestionable, because they have no answers | biding their raw | jewel of time | in an insurmountable privacy | and if it isn’t futile | to visit them | neither is it | non-futile | in any case as we gaze | into their indecipherable isolation | our thoughts turn | to the one | crucial, inexplicable thing: the next | moment of leaving…

One of those evenings where | the past is ahead of us, the future | punctured | has deflated, shrunk | the white apartment complex | fringed with green palms | square windows lit irregularly | is an intricate arrangement of solitudes | consumers | digging their separate burrows | through a dark, rich earth | no one, ultimately, owns | Our thoughts | shake the crowds into their echo armies | idle | split off like the fragments of a firework | We put up the tent of skyscrapers, planes passing overhead | we will live here for a little while, we think | and the thinking | arranges it | Death, apparently, is utterly blank: no one | goes there | it is always in the future | and then, as if by magic | always in the past | in either case | it is an imagined country | measured, you may think, by the loss | we feel or the loss | we expect | or believe | or desire | other people might feel when we have gone | There is a sound of gunfire | of shells bursting bricks and mortar and plaster | out of the shapes of minarets and spires | to clouds of dust and the slumped | geometric intestines of rubble | these are the signs | that tell us this location is old | it is time | we left | and abruptly | as the bombs | start to fall | the musicians, packing up their instruments | no longer belong to the orchestra••

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