Sunday, June 28, 2009


Even his fingerprints vanished. His skin smoothed like river stone; his grip on the world diminished. He was sliding someplace frictionless.


Lovers had become landscape--the woman he knew that ancient summer was lost in a hedgerow, flowering, leaving, framing what could be seen.


What he touched penetrated skin and clung, but he did not want to release the pen, sofa, wallet: they defined him as the boundaries faded.


The walls of the house have thickened, the rooms grown smaller; the foyer is just the size of a mailbox, and he gropes there for his bills.


Part of him was lost,two fingers from the right hand. His music suffered. When he played the piano, there was a shadow in the treble, a deadness.


Human emotion reduced him; every passion wore off a layer of skin, every rage took a subsection of organ. Eroded, he walked through walls.


He now remembers the path forgotten all his life: it leads to a ruined door through which everything vanishes, even the key that opens it.

1 comment:

  1. T. R.

    I like the poem very much.

    Assimiliation/immigration/alienation are all things I think about a lot.

    The opening stanza reminded me of something E. L. Doctorow said about how we never escape our pre-assimilation selves. Sometimes we turn a corner and re-enter our immigrant universe.