Me! he says, hand on his chest. Actually, his shirt. And there, perhaps, The question. Pioneers! But trailer people? Wood box full of tools— The most American. A sort of Shrinking in themselves. A Less than adult: old. A pocket knife, A tool— And I Here talking to the man? The sky That dawned along the road And all I've been Is not myself? I think myself Is what I've seen and not myself A man marooned No longer looks for ships, imagines Anything on the horizon. On the beach The ocean ends in water. Finds a dune And on the beach sits near it. Two. He finds himself by two. Or more. 'Incapable of contact Save in incidents' And yet at night Their weight is part of mine. For we are all housed now, all in our apartments, The world untended to, unwatched. And there is nothing left out there As night falls, but the rocks
From New Collected Poems. Copyright © 2002 by Linda Oppen. Used with permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.