The jackals have their sideways reproaches,
the great-aunts their brooches crusted
with emeralds or rubies or paste, the wine
has its slowness, the commuter her haste
but inside each thing is also something other,
strange, counter, shadow of an airplane
inside the raincoat, chessman in the otter,
pirouette in the luncheonette, note
emerging two octaves out of range.
Always get the last word.
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Everlasting is comrade to this moment’s
flash; glance away, it’s another day,
you’ve lost one chance but here’s another,
some cash, a sublet by the water; all
this bother moving place to place, shifting
syntax, anxiety attacks, the fights
and late-night make-ups, disgrace,
mercy in the friend’s face may make rich
recollection lying on the deathbed or
seconds after a head-bonk ends it
and from eternity’s cracked-open lid
that first pet the vet injected
while you held a paw and wept
bounds forth as if from your own chest
to greet you.