winter in carthage

i am the sitting stone on the old office chair.
the chair and i both sit: the same temperature
as the wooden floorboards, the windowpane.
and the air between floorboards and earth
is the same temperature as the air around
the house, the dirt down by the corral, the slow
beating hearts of perch at the bottom of the pond.
it feels both like waiting and like reaching the end.
think about elissa, i tell myself, think of the longing
for tyre stained by the memory of blood and how
she must have sat beside a similar window,
unseeing and unwarmed. a rock. (but even rocks
may be roused: the familiar contours of a greek ship,
the noble survivors spilling into the harbor, the second
chance at happiness, the unexpected passion. how unlike
a rock, how fleshly the whole mess unfolded.)
and would it be better to sever the cold fellowship
of unaffected nature in favor of an uncertain future?
at least she had predictability. respect in society.
no need of heat. the inattention of the gods, at least.
i contemplate it, unmoving. squat. vaguely weathered.
those things are worth something, worth another
hour of clean and silent contemplation. at least.


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