poem index

Weaving

Paul Otremba

I don't think they'll find the new weaving
anywhere finer than truth.
—Osip Mandelstam


I've tried to sift a truth finer than salt
from my mouth. It matters: I get up

or I do not. The books can wait, leaves
burn themselves these days, and the day

begins or it does not. Now wingless,
a wasp masquerading as the sun crawls—

a harmless razor—across the backlit
curtain. No city trembles on the verge

of the sea. No stupid bird threatens
to dissolve me if I forget my species

in the official questionnaire. I could
put my ten bureaucrats to their task.

The dusting and polishing. There's a point,
a mirror for me to enumerate my teeth.

Beyond these walls, there's only the snowed-in
field, an egg just opened but empty.

From Currency by Paul Otremba. Copyright © 2009 by Paul Otremba. Used by permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.

Paul Otremba