I know

I know

I elephant eye long looking past
with the twitch-limp in my long-lip smile.
Walking across the lawn in flip-flops,
in nylon bag-around shorts,
in faith and style.

With the sunlight in my eyes.
Early in the mornday sun.

That’s when I know.

I hoot-a-nanny with the bass
thump bumping in the scatter
and the crowd jit jiving
in the move-fast lights

While the fire burns me from
the inside out, whirring my
frolic across the smooth top floor.

And so I know.

Talk to the girl with the itch
in her eye.
Talk to the bird with the hop
in her flutter gait.

Rolled up in sheet leaves
and the look that wraps my own.

So then I know.

Longtime now, playing basketball
in the second grade.
Longtime now, up and down the
squeaking plastic-top floor.

Longtime now, lurking by the creek
looking for another dart
beneath the tilted planes.

Longtime now, knowing all I know.

God who splits the pavement.
God who herds the cattle.
God who crumbles the edging.
God glint my eyes–
the highway rearviewed.

Getting along, unable to stop the flow.
Getting along, unable to stop the plain
clothesman watching signs from the shade.
Getting along, can’t stop the end
from circling ’round,
mixing in my blood,
overtaking the song.

Still I know,
even though
I won’t
outrun the fireplace.

Still I know, so something rests
easy in the place between
the caulking and the Listerine.
Amidst the hurt we didn’t stop.

What should we have done?
Why didn’t we manage?
And what to say now?
The loss coats our hearts.
I cannot believe in anything.

And yet I know.

Hold me when I cross the stage.
Hold me when I burn the temples.
Hold me when I cannot win
and must not fail.
Hold me today when I’m scared.

There’s a place between.

So we know.

But what do we do?

Poem copyrighted by Andy Watson, who takes a walk with Bartleby Willard, the two of them forgetting the themes and losing their shoelaces. I’ve not heard them. I’ve not seen them. I’ve not known the way to fix the boat, to rig the sail or anything.

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