|Allan Peterson [Poetry Foundation]|
I have written it five times or more, each uneasy.
Drafts, as if wind blew uncomfortably through and the loose door chattered,
the toilet spoke with its moan voice, the deep pipes shuddering.
After a long wait trying to remember his name,
I touched the phone book and it came without opening.
I felt a chill.
Then I wondered the whereabouts of the South Star
since a North existed and touched the Ephemeris. Nothing. No one had.
Another symmetry misspoke.
And for the second time Terry's own blood left the table,
swirled through the room and tubing before return.
Imagine its migration in a single room,
petrels in the blood from far away as South America.
After the machinery it came back.
You could hear it like the whump of wind refilling sails to the shapes of colters
on the way to the self-centered idea of the New World,
well, new to some Spanish.
But it was the same world, now in miniature, the masts relaxed
in their neck rings, then teased up on ropes like a path to the Western Ocean
which was the Eastern Ocean
through a miracle of circuitry and cruelties.
In the last draft the patient became an explorer through his blood
which traveled in pinwheels though he stayed put, whirlpools,
all aspects of weather on a sphere which revels but does not survive,
and the story almost unrecognized from where it started.