Open his door.
The shock the mind lives
and lives in freeze-frame, stop/start, is more
than this long and narrow room can show;
too long and too narrow
to fit your understanding
of the shape of a room.
Church bell comes
disfigured through the window—
the rooftops, the other windows. Glass bears
a layer of old words he smeared,
that only when held up to the moon
make themselves known;
are otherwise, as in a lemon juice trick, nowhere.
Room drips with
shivered face of a stopped clock
he never replaced.
And here where he tucked in the chair to his desk,
taking care it did not scrape, refilling
the inkwell with enough words to last long letters.
Mirror above the
sink hoards the man shaving,
all routine, how he ordered his flesh,
soap as death-mask telling his face.
Razor-blade moves in swipes you do not see
but for the jaw that shows gradually,
like a dawn’s winter road clearing of snow.
Under shawl for
it’s night now,
blue and green bird in a small silver cage;
macaw, he said, from Rio De Janeiro
or Mozambique. Eyes bruised as cobbles
address you only from the feet up.
Hole in the drip of its
as if a nail driven
Keeping in its feathers,
denying knowledge of its songs from home—
saw his eyes in the dangling glass go black
and a thousand thoughts died; the lamplight flinched,
the room picked up and set down again.