Hero vegetable

I eat the potato while listening to the new Jon Ronson

about the butterfly effect that internet porn

has unleashed on the valley     His jokes

make people warm to him

and I am warming

to the cancellation of my plans

as if turning to face the person

              on the other side of the bed, in a film

about two best friends on the edges of their lives

 

A night out starts as bright pleasure

but becomes a torment as it goes on      like saying no

On the floor I foam-roll the knots out of my legs

I make small crablike motions

as tiny flames inside my legs blow themselves out

 

            Security light, scan my windows

like a wrist held on a pillow

 

I have a lot of washing to fold because I

wash all my things so regularly now

My micro-biome is all dented up

but I am staying

useful to myself in the spring

 

            A new sweat marks a new season

and like new hair        is a prickling that soon becomes bearable

 

I go faster in the spring

get lower to the ground in the spring

Upstairs feet sound thrown, like things into the recycling

knives dropped down the side of the oven

Everything happens as if from a height

 

New people moved in up there     they have a lot of children

and a lot of work to do and

 

              well         it’s nothing        but I realised today

I’ve stopped listening to bands

who over-rely on the string section

to do all the emotional work

it started feeling like a chore      to process it

on top of everything else

for instance there is a man so rich he has an aquarium

 

            with a full coral reef in it, and a personal diver

who comes once a week to tend it

 

How can we process that, in our grief?

Why does a man install a coral reef

when he won’t do the work of tending it?

When the earthquake shook us awake

we did the work of fearing it

 

            We got out of bed and held on to the doorframe

not knowing that this didn’t accord with the latest recommendations

 

but with no time for pointing in a different direction

with time only for a surge of blood like a sash to wear

It went on and on so grimly

The floor pulsing like a large man’s neck

I thought specifically ‘I’m ready to die’

I did the work of thinking that thought

Even then it didn’t end       which was surprising because in life you think

            of the worst thing     so that you can enjoy things not being so bad

Yours might be my last face

 

Nothing would ever end again

Ending was over

 

I don’t straighten the sheets anymore before I go to sleep

I wrap myself in a smell I can’t smell

but that I know is there because I can

feel its soft glue, undoing

and in the mornings I’m

 

            fallen slightly to bits like a balsawood airplane

and if there’s been an earthquake I don’t even know about it