Still Life With Objects

Like that infamous ship
on the flat horizon, the one the
Florida Indians couldn’t
see although it was right in front
of them I wonder how long
I have lived among these people
who were, until now, this moment,
broken headphones, steel wool
dryer lint, a throbbing headache

Lampooning behind mirrored masks
of debris in a car wash puddle–
Jiffy Lube coupons, a jay’s wing
a Big Gulp straw
a twist tie, an oil sheen

We know them – discarded bottles,
pills and perfumed soaps
that pass unaltered from us
into the coursing waterways
making amphibians female
as they go, killing freshwater mussels
– those keepers of the rivers’
clear waters all these eons and we
didn’t know until now
how things forever alter

I cannot re-enchant the world
myself, inert and alone
in my house
the dishwasher hums
the toilet sings
the radiator knocks; outside
the chainsaw, the leafblower,
the shop vac, the lawnmowers
drown out sounds
the laughter of children swinging

A small honey mushroom is growing
between my toes it is
beginning to discompose my
feet on the spot where I stand
suddenly awake
listening to all these people here

soon the microbes of the forest floor
will migrate through the rotten
webbing, through my limbs
on which the crows alight

I, like a tree
while things in my house,
the gathering, flammable armies beneath
garbage mountains, flotillas of objects
the size of Texas, the greenhouse breath
assemble, are on the move
singing, humming, knocking, flowing
while I listen to the rasping of
a diasporic wind
in my leaves


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