Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Nothing But

When I became poet laureate of this corporation,
I was bestowed certain irrelevancies allowing me
to function in ways the rest of you could not.
This was necessary for my post to be wielded effectively
and not be bogged down by the need for balance
or decorum. Free from the yoke of measured competency,
I wrote first drafts in red ink. I revised my dreams
mid-yarn, bound financial reports with guitar string.
I was a billboard planted in this office, falling
in love with eyes that found me and as quickly
left, the headlamps afraid or unwilling
to appraise me fully, fairly. Today
I’m resigning amid the shame of granting personhood
to this corporation—it is with deep regret
I report that during my tenure, all I’ve learned
is to say “my body” instead of “my god.” My
body, how I’ve changed, the box I have made and carry
from place to place. My body, the world
I live in today, full of monsoons and
car washes. I’m sorry—but when I make love now
I can’t even hear the tax forms folding over,
the brackets shifting, deductibles rolling up
like camping bags. I look
at my wife’s face and I see wilderness.
Untranslatable. Where, where is
the town? Where is my body,
the convenience stores that were cells?
The body does the work of the body,
the King does the work of the sun and
the tree does the bidding of the wind,
the shareholders each rustling a leaf in earnest.