Study Of Them

They fill their dwellings
with a heavy self-respecting furniture,
resilient leather, round or square clocks,
going in the right direction,
icy cubes, crystal balls,
paperweights on the vast desktops,
like tanks ready to move.

Close captioned
they might show some giveaways:
bloodshot eyes,
a musky trace of the killer dog,
a few charming pox marks (each worth a million).

They always know what to do
although they have their soft spots
and if you touch them—you freeze.

When they die
an oily dark cloud slowly rises to the surface,
as if the swarming snakes of the DNA
reluctantly dissolve in the time.

Afterwards their habitat stays still for a long time,
collecting bluish sheen of the metallic dust
until small insects from nowhere
start humming around,
floors crackle,
massive paintings grow dimmer
and slowly lose
their impeccable geometric dispositions.

The new residents move in
exuding soft light, domestic noises,
arranging books on the shelves,
filling drawers with newspaper clippings,
old photos, postcards from overseas, pocket knives,
tender pale seashells with a little sand inside.

A baby is brought in, leans over,
fingers busy scrutinizing the world,
unmistakably reaches for a toy:
cool and heavy,
angulated, dormant object.

Bayou Magazine, 4/30/08

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