Sam Taylor

Coda: For Whom the Bell Tolls

Where is the doorway into this impure world?
We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls.
When he turns the faucet on, her blood begins to flow,
the man who lives below them starts to sing.
All morning, the mourning dove. All mourning, the morning.
Your call will be answered in the order it was received.
The bureau of your chest filled with last year’s papers;
there are words from here to the end of the world.
So reach out a lace of poplar across a dark continent.
When she turns the wipers on, the sky begins to fall.
Look out the window at one version of mystery.
Who then has lived up to the dignity of a hand?
If you see a woman climbing stairs forever, ignore her.
A wicker laundry basket overflowing with primary hues.
If the stairs are made of metal, if you see her pause
and glance at you, unsung arias condensed to stone, pass on.
Do not worry. The woman changes. She is renewed.
And ask not for what reason she looks at you.
This message will now be repeated twice.
You may exit at any time by pressing zero.

Sam Taylor
Coda: For Whom the Bell Tolls is reprinted from Body of the World (Ausable Press, 2005), and first appeared in Agni 60 (2004).