Status Update

Status Update


I am safe. I am here! I’ve survived the shooting,
bombing, hurricane, flood of numbers streaming

across a screen in Silicon Valley where some kid
codes We are safe. All’s well, we buzz from our train

seats, offices, stalls; the bills all cancelled, the old
debts wiped clean. I shall go gently into that good

night on a Tuesday in spring surrounded by books
and those I love, a smile bright as silver spread

across my face. I am safe—what’s dangerous is
elsewhere!, breathing down someone else’s neck,

a bat hovering over the baby in the bassinet.
We must love ourselves where we lie! I am safe

on the coast, in a church, hung out to dry.
I am safe in the field, salt-parched, gut-drunk,

overdue to call home. I am safe, my loved one,
my sweet, dear stranger. Is anyplace lovelier

than this nothingness? Here, there is no bottom
to the well, no arsenic, no chair with straps and wires

to rattle the fillings in our teeth. There’s no huntsman,
no one deranged, our delicate watches never running

out of time, the barbs clasped to the dandelion’s
skull forever, the dogs content on their leads until—

Disaster strikes. We re-enter our watery bodies,
their soft bones, tap the pale dull screen to

whisper I’m safe. In my little town, with my white night
gown and box of sleeping pills; in my county

that’s real and true with its clothespins and postman,
its poisonous tree, its constituents all over the map,

its middle-class spoils, cold grocery aisles, its toll
gate nobody wants to pay, its trailer park and autobody

repair, its courthouse whose inner chamber’s
enclosed by a labyrinth of halls that guards the room

holding a pock-marked metallic stone—the meteor
locked away in its case of glass, as if to suggest,

as if to say without really saying, that though we’re dead
men walking, there’s nothing to fear, the air is clear,

that one dark day the sky fell well and good behind us.

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