It’s coitus interruptus with the sweaty world.
It’s the view from the window of the plane
As it gains altitude and the pines recede
Into forest—always it’s the pull away.
The pull away from the darkness and the heat
Of a mother’s bleeding body, toward cold light,
Toward names and language and desire and their
Majestic failures. It’s love, it’s death of love,
It’s junk mail: see that blue truck shuddering
From my concrete curb, bearing this letter
For the Current Resident at your address?
And real death, too—the red-beaked gull we saw
Abstract a mullet from the surf and wheel
Across the iron-black sands of a nameless beach.
“Abstraction” first appeared in Blackbird, spring 2003 (vol. 2, no. 1).