The Movement of a Caravan over the Landscape

Sarah Manguso

That we rode harder into the wind,
That the story got told,
That the broken candies were eaten first,
That they were eaten last,
That all subjects grew extinct eventually,
That in the inn I ruined our lives,
That in the barn I tried to save them,
That I failed,
That per Fitzgerald the manner remains intact for some time after
the morale cracks,
That in the interregna all suffer equally,
That the languages we are born ready to speak leave us one by one,
That unless we’re actively procreating we’re acting metaphorically,
That I’ve never been to France,
That I’ve been to Ohio,
That I remember almost nothing I did there,
That it is meaningless to say I liked that,
That emotions accumulate into a few categories,
That each new one is itself plus everything like itself,
That when animals act like people we love them more,
That when they do we want them never to stop,
That we give them the names we wish we had,
That men have children and manufacture new mothers,
That I anticipate escaping my fate or not,
That I anticipate the future by never buying groceries,
That I know the flesh is incidental but keep so many photographs,
That the story gets told,
That it was the reason for these various movements.

From Siste Viator. Copyright © 2006 by Sarah Manguso. By permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.

From Siste Viator. Copyright © 2006 by Sarah Manguso. By permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.

Sarah Manguso

Sarah Manguso

by this poet

poem
I am not here to ruin you.
I am already in you.
I am the work you don’t do.
I am what you understand best and wordless.
I am with you in your chair and in your song.
I am what you avoid and what you stop avoiding.
I am what’s left when there is nothing left.
Love me hard, pilgrim.