The Lonely Domain
"A Coffin — is a small Domain"
She had a bleeding vagina but no bosom
and a man's voice that barked, "Shut the fuck up."
as she carried a carpenter's bench to the kitchen
and chose some boards from the yard. But I spoke
anyway, believing in words as the basis of people
She sat a long time making a sketch
measuring the planks to mark them with a pencil,
and then all afternoon a saw wheezed
across the boards as her hands went back
and forth planing them, but even with a ruler
and chisel, it was hard to make the domain-end
wide enough for my shoulders. "Sorry about that,"
her voice vibrated.
Dogs bite strangers, wolves catch lambs,
lightning strikes trees, but strangely — without any
premonition — she quit her revenge, and the spell
was broken. "Let's talk, I said, sad and happy.
The kitchen smelled like a pine forest,
everyday thoughts that are my world
returned to me, sunlight was white
with many distances, and I lived.
At the end of the road from concept to corpse,
sucked out to sea and washed up again —
with uprooted trees, crumpled cars, and collapsed houses —
facedown in dirt, and tied to a telephone pole,
as if trying to raise herself still, though one leg is broken,
to look around at the grotesque unbelievable landscape,
the color around her eyes, nose, and mane (the dapples of roan,
a mix of white and red hairs) now powdery gray —
O, wondrous horse; O, delicate horse — dead, dead —
with a bridle still buckled around her cheeks — "She was more
smarter than me,
she just wait," a boy sobs, clutching a hand to his mouth
and stroking the majestic rowing legs,
stiff now, that could not outrun
the heavy black, frothing water.
Nothing To Declare
Farrar Straus Giroux