xix. Venerable Decay
There are three kinds of ruins: first, London ruins,
Gray crumbling amidst bored skyscrapers,
Spotted from the windows of our Harry Potter tour bus;
Second, Roman ruins, which proudly partition summer sun,
Circumscribing our expectations like a movie set;
Finally, more local ruins, spotted climbing among
The drowsing combines and concrete culvert pipes
With my brother.
xx. Companion Species
To ally oneself with the animal is to accept its impossibility,
The brute’s mute refusal to claim itself the way we do.
To ally oneself with an animal is to accept its total identification,
The surplus of pleasure that comes from our nescience.
To ally oneself with an animal is to feel beside, to occupy a presence
That haunts you with fur and an inscrutable gaze.
To ally oneself with an animal is to occupy a history, an after,
A post-absence that drapes time in duration.
When I imagine what it was like before I allied myself,
I imagine what it will be like after.
How will I claim myself? Will time drip and dissolve into summer light?
Or will it settle like the pools of stillwater that collect after it rains?