Then there was the night I decided that if I ignored everyone
I would transcend,
so I covered my ears with my hands,
stepped off the porch and rose like a wet crow
and the sprinklers chattered to each other over the fences.
And "How long will you be gone?" my neighbor called nervously,
my neighbor whose saw I had borrowed,
and "Come down right now!" my landlord called out,
climbing to the roof of his Cadillac to reach me
as he got smaller and smaller.
And there I was with the stars hanging above my house like live wires
and the night sky the color of stockings.
I stuck out my tongue to taste the sky
but could not taste.
I inhaled deeply
but could not smell.
I used to look to the sky for comfort
and now there was nothing, not even a seam,
and I looked down and saw that it did not even reach the ground.
And my only company was the satellites counting their sleep
and the Sorrowful Mother swinging her empty dipper in the darkness,
the Sorrowful Mother picking her way through the stars over my roof.
And I knew I was nowhere and if I ever took my hands from my ears
I would fall.
|From A Hummock in the Malookas, by Matthew Rohrer, published by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Copyright © 1995 by Matthew Rohrer. Reprinted by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.|