Amir writes



This poem will be a poem of another century, not different from this one.

 This poem will be securely concealed    under heaps of words, until


    between the last sand grains of the hourglass,

    like a ship inside a bottle, it will be seen, this poem:


     the poem that will speak of innocence.  And common people that ostensibly

     were shaped by time, like tardy gods,


     will listen to it for no reason that wasn’t there before,

     rise their backs like snakes


     from the junk,    and there won’t be anywhere else

     to hurry from, and it won’t have an end


     different from its beginning.  It won’t be rich

     and won’t be poor.  It won’t bother anymore to promise


     and keep or carry out its utterances

     and won’t scrimp, or sail there from here.


     This poem, if it will speak to you, woman, it won’t call you

     muse-babe, and won’t lie with you like its fathers;


     or if to you, man, it won’t kneel or kill, won’t apply makeup

     and won’t take off its words and flesh, as it has not    has not —


     what.  Maybe now I’ll call it here, the bad poem

     of the century: here, sick with health    it barely walks


     drags its legs in the viscous current    of thoughts of the time

     or is stopped to show papers    and to have its trivia counted


     with arithmetical beads.  The inventory:  flowers and staples,

     corpses (yes, no worry), tall glasses.  After staples —


     also butterflies, and many footprints    and other hooks and shelves

     for the arguments of scholarly criticism, and also just to fool around, teeth


     against teeth, in the anarchic smiles of a chameleon    that doesn’t know

     its colors have long since turned into a parable.  Or in incomprehensible tranquility


     to try someone else’s luck in games of

     to and fro    that have no goal other than, let’s say,


     a bit of fun the length of a line.  Spread orange on the blue

     of evening sky: now, plaster a little cloud.  Climb


     on it, see below: sea of sea, sand of sand.

     Or fingers.  Ten jointed worms


     move in inexplicable charm.  Now they encircle

     a ball whose circle is faulty, wonderful, fleshy,     further more,


     you may say a word (it’s a fruit, it’s called

     a peach).  And these words    their taste is full of the taste of


     its being, of a tone that accompanies the sight with wonder

     and not with a thought-slamming sound.  And this is the poem:


     it sings, let’s say, to the tar that stuck to the foot on the shore,

     to plastic bottles, to its own words.  


     It only sees: black atop white, transparent, or grainy.

     It is not less naked than you.  Also no more.  Only in this exactness


     that has no measure, but by the curves of a female-dog,

     a pot of cyclamens, or a hair strand on a bathtub railing.


     The creatures here don’t want to know.  The creatures

     there, that only want, are, for now, a possibility


     of becoming the creatures that are here, of becoming this antiquity

     that has nothing to say other than me, me, without limit


     without you.  A dog lies on a step in the afternoon

     sun, and does not distinguish itself from the flies.



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