“Let us go then, you and I”*
Pausing in the midst
of work, as a runner might pause
to check her pulse, I scan
the health of the nation
in the nation’s words, reading
this poet, then that one,
the flu of solipsism on the page, the fluttering
diagnosis of the vague, the fatigue syndrome
of the arcane, until I am in a coma, a patient,
convalescent in a hospital bed, suffering
a malady from which no one ever dies but from which
no one ever recovers,
so caught in the drone of the anesthetic
injected into her veins and the monotone of the TV
from the rain-stained ceiling,
and the whine of the worn-out containers,
the emptied detritus of words, that
only the noise, the sharp grinding
of jet brakes, the squeal of the
pneumatic lift, the weight
of the tons screeching
on their appointed rounds, Thursday morning
outside my house, on the other side of the window,
jolts me awake. It’s
the trash truck, thank God,
the blessed trash truck.
*Bitters (Copper Canyon Press, 2001).
Copyright © 2004 REbecca Seiferle.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Voice in the Whirlwind