Along the Fourth Floor Wall, Library East
The man with his arm in a sling leans
over his book. He is discovering quiet, how his wrist is like the house, when he’d
wake up at night, how his elbow’s been
numb so long that by the time it comes
back aware, anything will be possible.
The lame girl has always dragged her foot. All her left shoes are worn on the grass side,
And her leg has grown at its own angle
the way someone long married might have
learned to love the way things are. And so, the sunlight that brightens her brown hair
this November morning is enough to make
her look up from her desk, and smile.
I am facing a wall the color of light between the leaves of apple trees, and it hints
of an orchard inside, where winesaps hang glowing in the plaster.
I am facing a wall just the shade of my left foot below the ankle, which every day
emotes more deeply, as if purple could reach bone.
I am facing a wall which is the snow under which things have been lost. When
it melts, we will see how rusty the lug wrenches are, and
the trail bikes, and that young morning you carried my typewriter, which we thought were solid for winter
but were not.
I am facing a wall. And no matter what color I paint it, nor what it pretends, to please me,
I am still here, and it is still a wall.