city of chairs
sitting forward in row
& watching the sun become
a man again. a plate of fishes
passed & passed. no one eats
fish anymore. the ocean lives
in a single glass. coming to visit
the citizens of the city of chairs
peer inside. dip a finger
beneath what used to be a wave.
all part of a movement towards observation.
the walls peeling away like rinds.
first tall glass buildings
& then a great shattering.
when i do my daily watching
i look at the backs of heads
waiting for a tree to emerge--
grow from skulls. we are all in
purgatory for believers. whatever we believe
is waiting to arrive. un-horsed chariots.
finding loopholes for chairs.
counting a lover's vertabrae.
stacking for a city scraper.
god says it will all be ready soon
& then we will go underground &
centuries later they will find
miles of chairs & wonder how we lived.
i too am a historian wondering
how we are living. smog that returns
like grandfathers to promise
a new industry. we are producing
more chairs. when they are delivered
we will have to decide what
to do with them. a rumor says
a chair can be used as a house.
whole families who crouch beneath.
i should know. i lived under a rock
for as long as i could. the ocean shifts
loses a droplet. the whole city, seated,
weeps. new regulations. curfew.
narrows stretches of breath.
holding on to axels of light.
then, the urge to sneak out at dusk.
to grab the ocean & hold it up to my face--
looking through the depths
& imagine what it was once like
to watch the sun swell mammalian
over ancient water. everything is so new.
i want an antique chair.
or maybe one with a cupholder.
shifting desires. i learn to want less
& i am so good at it that i teach others.
someone says, "was it always
this purple at twilight?" i say,
"it was," even though i've never seen
the sky so ready to kneel.