There is a shift, sometimes,
you can feel it if you lay very still at night,
while the rest of this city is sleeping.
You’ll feel the shift, like a crack.
And it’s down there
in that space between yesterday and today
in that never-was time,
that I fear I’m slipping into these days.
So instead of me, I’ll fill it with these things I carry,
with the journals I have kept
words inked with a dead octopus
on paper brittle and cracking
but always words,
with the postcards
and broken down carburetors
and sand from the beach
with the conversations
whispered over the tops of baby heads
and inside stalled cars in the rain
the wipers frantic like a dying creature.
With the stories I’ve told and retold and changed
so often that even I believe it might have happened that way,
with the rocks from English countryside
and the coasters from the cafes in Paris,
and the maps of Spain,
with the dust of too many silent months,
settling over my lungs,
with the broken keys of pianos
and snapped violin strings,
with the teeth that are falling out
and the stubbed toes and the banged knee
and the broken skull
and the tongues of dead boys.
And especially little letters like this,
slipped under my door,
that if stacked one on top of another
could reach the top of buildings
all begging for the same forgiveness
that I’m not so generous with,