After Hearing that the World’s Last Typewriter Factory is Closing

 

The woods, kept from us, lance up in darkness.

 

Ghosts of animals press against the windows,

 

leaving breath we can write in, our names, our curses,

 

and the front door contains frames

 

as if images of faces could be cut out and put there.

 

It’s cold, the gold trap door for letters or whatever

 

you call the messages from enthusiasts of credit—

 

pages printed by machines, sealed by machines.

 

If there’s a human at the start of the chain I can’t

 

picture her features, but her hands are envelope-white,

 

blameless. A radical loneliness washes in

 

with each lost friend found, as if knowing

 

that because we’ll lose the world, it makes perfect

 

sense to put together a spare. Nights I hear the train,

 

the line they say raises the population—nothing

 

else to do, too late to fall back, too early to rise—

 

the old-fashioned kettle screech carried ten miles south.

 

At the station, the beautiful renovated station,

 

juniper is making an undrinkable cocktail of the air.

 

And down the platform steps, the ungrateful child,

 

carried, too big to be carried, wakes in the arms of her mother.

 

She shrieks, as if homecoming were always

 

treachery, and loaded into the car—too big, you’re too big,

 

I’ll give you something to cry about

 

the circus acrobats are still tumbling suicidally

 

in her mind, living, shimmering premonitions,

 

and decades ahead

 

her nightmares are reborn as children.

 

 

 

July 30, 2011

 

 


 

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