backpack adjusted, notepad resurrected

to speak of what you knew


you make an uncustomary

trip to the basement

where you find the table

you’ve already dined at.

the dishes

you’ve already washed.

the cupboards

you’ve already stocked full.

you examine the original


you regard it.

you listen.

you imagine it out of

its ideological


you scrub the dirt

from under your fingernails.

you wipe the grit

from your eyes.

skyscrapers grow

to remind you,


of what you don’t speak,

believing no harm done, this

lack of information, this

indirect route, this

dig for graves & mind,

forgiving too much,

no logic

to wonder desire or intuition,


a metaphor to move

one ear to the image

of other, or

a canoe floating down a river

& you’re rowing as fast as you can

& you can’t feel the oars in your hands

& you don’t know where you are going

& suddenly you hit concrete walls

as high as your basement

& what comes next?

don’t look at the site

where skyscrapers grow.

windows reflect faces in crowds

& map incomplete facts,

complex associations,

completing the route between image

& word to speak of,

originally. for example,

what fact at birth?

did you hear them singing

as you rowed down the river

against all odds

to real joy?

the basement darkens

flows into rivers

finds the driver

grabs the oar

rides the descent

backpack adjusted

notepad resurrected

Originally published in Guillinna on Four Wheels by Sandra Squire Fluck. Available on Apple Books and Amazon Kindle.

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