Remoteness From the Present

by James Grinwis

The way the sun washes out like a glass of milk,
a description of sunlight
spills over a white dress.
Five boys pace the beach, looking for shells.
The foreground: consumed with the shape
of a large, wooden hive, undiscovered.
To exist like the undiscovered,
primarily in dreams. What is it for,
taking the light out, to shelter
large asphalt bees? The surf glows
like a cut open pineapple under neon light,
the in-out sound of surf like a man
raking tombstone leaves. There's a separate boy
carrying a raft, his prints in the sand
quick clicks. The mixed image of sound and sight
empties me; who knows how long
it will take to get home. I head back,
into the nether. There is little romance
in the land of the dead, not like Altoona; no sleeping dog,
such as the one passed out near the satellite dish,
like someone exhausted and confused,
waiting for years. The farms are weird blurs,
and the hood of the car throws green sparkles into the air,
to make of the air a blur meshed with green.
The road curves, and a chicken stands at the end of it.
The year is a lost one, the car is a Ford, and the tree on the hill
is a lone tree, a peninsular kind of tree
in Knoxville, Tennessee, wondering
how on earth could it grow here, and the chicken,
what is the story of the chicken, what
does it want? The driver is chewing ice-cubes
and spitting their remains in a cup.


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