First you borrow, then you beg
— Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

I look at you in this way because of the earth, later, and small hazelnuts | soon, almost now | Those people | who burned alive in the cinema | because they were not close enough to the doors with the red | EXIT above them, they looked in the same way | as I look, sometimes, I’m sure | My eyes | have seen more than my memory | may recollect | now I am certain | although I don’t fit in the suitcase yet, I will | and the injustice I once believed in | the inequality | the parts not fitting | the imbalances | will flatten to a state | where my body will be folded once, twice, perhaps several times | and my head twisted round to look backwards | chin to nape | knees tucked up to breast | and I will fit into that oblong shape | and the pungent scent of stale air and leather, with no sound of violins, but with | long stray blonde hairs | will be a cosmos for me | and I will be made, and we will all be made | just right for the world | Once you understand | life | you will see | the world has a knack for solving this sort of puzzle | sorting | into the a grand impartiality | those close to the EXIT door | and those a little further away | watching the film with the white dish, the five hazelnuts on it | and parsing their cares and desires, if they are not lost | in the story | where I look at you in this way | the way you don’t like, but don’t understand, either | a strand of your long red hair, your curling | black hair | tickling the skin of my face | and the stars, and the talk, and the endemic | injustice | segues to the end in tears and Persia


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