curl. lash. thrust. wrap. shimmy.
smaller persons consider
their options carefully. i have seen them
closely examine a scene,
weigh facts – ponderous facts,
which are as big as they, or bigger –
and finally, move.
scientists scan their brains,
trying to pry the lid from the black,
irresistible box. they peer into
ear canals. they have special machines
that make pictures of minds.
but why do small fingers
clench and unclench
when a small person is thinking?
funding exists for this (even for this),
findings do not.
the machines are silent.
screens, blank. lines, flat.
but what pictures would the subjects make
(they themselves, the people in question)
if they could? right then,
right in that moment,
without further reflection,
they would paint what?
bookshelves made of leaves?
something about a tire swing?
their families: skinny legs, round heads?
dogs traveling in packs,
running up the walls
of the old hospital (the scary one
that has boards on the windows),
crowding on the roof?
in that pregnant pause before
the leftward lurch
the gathering breath
the volley of synapses,
what dreamish landscapes
flash before the conqueror,
what best-guessed laws
of physical reality apply?
yesterday i thought of it.
wondered all day if i had traded
something important in exchange
for my knowledge of the universe,
my maturity, and my lack of hesitation.
at night i saw a grey barn,
weathered and abandoned,
wetly smothered in mists
and crowned with a single crowing cock:
i can’t say i can’t say i can’t say.
a song with a single line
pouring out into the night
while i slept.


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