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from the March 2004 issue: Magnetic Poles

Where Did I Wake Up

Where did I wake up? where am I? Where's
my right side, where's the left? where's above, and
where's below? Take it easy, that's my body
on its back, that's the hand I use
to hold my fork, there's the one I use
to seize my knife or extend in greeting;
beneath me are the sheet, mattress, and floor,
above me are the quilt and ceiling; on my
left the wall, the hall, the door, the milk bottle
that stands outside the door, since on my right I see
a window, and beyond that, dawn; under me
a gulf of floors, the basement, in it jars of jam
hermetically sealed for the winter;
above me other floors, the attic, laundry
hung on strings, a roof, TV
antennae; further to the left, a street
leads to the western suburbs, beyond them
fields, roads, borders, rivers, ocean
tides; on the right, already bathed in gray splotches
of dawn, other streets, fields, highways, rivers,
borders, frozen steppes and icy forests;
below me, foundations, earth, the fiery abyss,
above me clouds, the wind, a faint moon,
fading stars, yes;
relieved,
he shuts his eyes again, his head at rest
where the perpendiculars and planes all meet,
pinned to every cross at once
by the steady nails of his pounding heart.

March 2004
Magnetic Poles
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