If this was all the access you had
to sky, looking down through
boardwalk boards into a tributary
glinting, if this was all the time
your calling or had been all
this time, and you found it, foundv
yourself arrested above an opening,
if purgatory were as real as bridges,
where would your religion build,
in the soft parabola of carriage
and suds, or in the hip points
your heaviness keeps in counsel
with the planks. The mill of
spiderlight and curtainwork in one
run over the impress of
cofferdam in the other. This river
in the days left to live, in
the leftover days reclamation
balances, trains its instrument
on a prospect, romantic and pushy
plainly. The joinery of the boards
is thoughtful, or the prison wish is
a watchwork through and through:
to guess at the rare punt
of a single stick’s bark odyssey, or
to separate from the rummage
each drifted glyph of superscript
and gloss the passage. Drawn through
the bothway of the ribs:
A breath, and then another.
No prior experience knock wood.
Not purgatory, but overage.

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