This Title Will Be Fewer than 60 Characters

“For the sake of a single verse
one must see many cities.”
—Rainer Maria Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge

If skin is sexy,
door assemblies
become the ultimate
flirtation and chaperone.

Everything is
in conflict
with itself.

I am one of the unreliables—
a narrator who negates
plot and loves settings
that blur the lines

between sand and water,
wave and particle,
feather and gasp.

Without a plot, the story goes
dormant at the bottom
where beauty
in the muck lies.

It’s the quiet ones
who interrupt the storyteller
with their exquisite corpses

and neverending
Mad Libs
written in red pencil.
When she realizes

she should have been
collecting stories
instead of souvenirs,

she tucks herself
into the fetal position
inside a snow globe
and falls asleep.

The sign says
no photographs.
She takes one anyway.

The resulting image
of a vaulted ceiling
inside a reclaimed reading room
captures a moment

but takes no prisoners.
The heroes have gone exploring
secret meta passageways

and forbidden films
and songs. She discovers
a compartment
filled with old black hat

boxes—the kind
with leather belt straps
and brass buckles.

I know she will not find
any hats inside.
The story goes
all those koi

frozen in place
just below the surface of the pond
will not have died in vain.

2 thoughts on “This Title Will Be Fewer than 60 Characters

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