ton sourire est aussi vrai
que mes quatre vérités.
we will circle the earth
in chariots maybe,
or a 1989 toyota corolla.
when we find icarus, we will carry his wings
with us, you and i, we will burn the feathers
by the elementary school:
and when the people come, we will rise,
stand on train platforms slung high over freeways,
in airport terminals beneath numbered gates,
our chests windows of white light.
and they’ll say
it’s the sun,
say all they want it was the sun.
there it is again:
the infrasonic rattling,
the feeling of the palm passing
over the first crack in the glass.
slowly, we dig at it.
soon we become an aluminum surface
seen through an electron microscope,
we become the twenty-year-old at Saint Jude’s
who last night learned in alleyways he isn’t
and when anyone comes to see us
through the windows in our home,
frictionless shining glass and metal,
they’ll turn in the street as they go, thinking
how well we look,
how perfect it all looks from far away.
i have an unhealthy attraction
i come in and unbutton my shirt,
insist that something is wrong with me,
pound on the triage nurse’s desk,
on the glass door to the trauma unit.
four hours later i am informed
there are pieces missing,
whole organs, removed like batteries,
and yet my blood still moves.
the doctors wash in and out.
e pur. e pur.
(and yet. and yet.)
four days later, at my kitchen table,
the phone rings.
good news, they say. you’re missing
just four chambers of your heart,
four base pairs in your dna
(adenine, thymine, cytosine, guanine),
at most four fingers from each hand.
—oh yes, the facts are in
and you can live without your heart.
(we have machines for that.)
the place is haunted.
i have pushed the furniture
to the walls, turned all the mirrors around.
everything past breathes together
in this room. they sit on chairs
like birds might: angular, silent, all exhalation.
nothing is visible directly.
i trip over something you said last year,
i am learning again where the light switches are.
the sun has declined just enough
for everything to be the same color.
this is the time of day it will be when, finally,
i move the chairs back to the table,
eat, unclose the boxes in the closet, shave
with my eyes open.
this is how i will bury my dead,
and this is why i fall silent when you say
you don’t believe in ghosts.