Kate Schapira

Compound town

When two or more are added together fingerprint
floodlit a third comes down to stop
their talking. What more do you need about the rows
of gauze, the shining hours. Balletic sickness
pools and flashes, no licit whispers
between the beds. Outside the walls
a few trees. Seniority fingerprick
family leave. Back. Every stitch plastic
with somebody else’s root
cause and final venture, shine on somebody
else’s distant hair. Import-export
that ghost-sick story. Flood lick. Fingerlit
sick print. Outside
the walls, the rainy season. What’s to know but
gaunt or fat, gloves and lungs,
fingers and fingers and fiber.

Break it up. What do you mean stitches added
together. What story do you know. Ghost job sticking
women to their lasts. Skin breaking down, forming different.

Caffeinate your conscience

Entirely by not buying, alert to finding.
Rampantly gathering in the sample sections.
Your throat is a garden of rusting parts.
Three-year-old children could cut themselves.

You found it: a flush of pride, authenticity.
Break bread and check oil. Five-year-old
children find Os in words, also with pride.
A calm maternal voice directs their search.

Frazzled, lean yearningly against the counter.
Your notice falls into a pyramid of choices.
In this store we don’t fight against tears:
you take diction as you find it but you wince.

       for James

Part of the day I thought about being old.
Then forgot. When anything may come to
its end sticks in
the throat of notice. Sticks
lichen clings to
break in the grass. The fallacy of any pavilion,
planting, magnolia tree is the fallacy
of duration, not grouping, the grouping’s
real, the particular’s
a charge and a relief. Does notice carry
green to things and stick, and last,
particularly last.

Build your city on the riverbank and drop
one wing. Always someone to put
out the fire and someone to set the fire

but as for crossing
water—what river
is it, what judgment, baseball diamond,
storage tank matters very much in one
way and not at all in another.
You were there for the poem. You drove
me to it. You stuck around for condensation,
fragrance, the usual
trunks, creeksides, deep
prints of small gods at small
altars: the nature of notice
leaves something to be worn away.

That’s a lake down there, a footprint.
These are the stakes, building
pavilions out of the mist. That’s a shadow.
It covers many miles. Those are houses.
They accumulate decay. I’ve changed my
mind about airports, they too are places.

Kate Schapira has had two chapbooks published, Case Fbdy. (Rope-A-Dope Press) and Phoenix Memory (horse less press). Other work by her has appeared / will appear in Practice, Absent, Denver Quarterly, 580 Split, Word for/Word, Aufgabe and similar publications.

She curates the Publicly Complex reading series in Providence.

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