Paul Tucci: What's Left of It

Fall '12 TOC  

     Loss in retrograde, I return
     indeterminate: a knowing amputee.
     Dry itch of a phantom limb.
The walls worn thin from layers of morning. Floralpattern curled. Learning to untie braids, strand by strand. The kitchen table:
a chemical synthesis. Emerald lake. Four acres of oldgrowth surrounded; patchwork of linoleum tiles. Boundaries I once admired
have shown themselves as fickle. Bareshoulders the onset of decay. Without conceit, with unwashed hands, there has been a mistake.
Through the window the twining heat. Hanging spider. Hidden origin of the spark. Slate shingles loosed at high velocity. Interred in
fragments. Soft upturned sod: a tendency to allow in.
     An object forms itself out
     of disorder, my knotted lines
     proof of strides.
The old barn from red to palewhite. Oxidized pigments. An asym- metric chapel allowed to flame and coal. Preservative moan of
livestock running crazyeyed. A bale of hay the living fuel. From the wreck the scent of burning feces. Matters of digestion. Clasp
of lilac. Flowering plume, darkgrey swiveling upwards. Father ran to the mess of it; the tangle of heat. Furnace, vacuum. Waiting
through the thin glass, tensed hand on the countertop. His bodily tumult: mute. Moments stretched to discomfort. The gnawing pulse
of consumption; our pancakes halfchewed in the jaw.
     Without resolution, he may return.
     Mixing ash with water to thicken,
     against odds, a semblance.
The well, the screen-door. Tawny young fruit trees. Not entirely numb, but fully disentwined in the afterglow. Was it Sunday? or
easter? Flickers like the impression of hot air above the street. Distorted. Fleeting words dissolved now to a mucus-lined cough.
But now: the rain. Hiss off the embers to steam in a blink. Mother's braids loosed in it. Fractured resolution in the hazing
over. Turned the twisted nail in my hand, sooted rust. Opened it: an earthworm. Tall grass grown over what's left. The quiet rift of
withered crossbeam. Shrill avian call. Blackened copper rooster.
     Decompose in time to a malleable
     concentrate finegrained as silt,
     but irreducible.


Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
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