Low Profile

In my dream the dead console
the living about others
who may have died. Rumors
turn a 60s ranch brick house
into a warren of hidden

phobias—a different one
for each room. Fear of

wool, not cotton wool, brings her
to the farthest corner

of the cellar where a sneeze
is just a sneeze. And it is you,

my dear friend, who are really gone.
That other friend left
my life but lives on
in another warren on another island
with his superconductors and scattering waves.

July 27: 11 Months

Startled by the number 27

on my apartment door,
the nearest cross
street to an avenue

I used to live on. Where

did it factor
in your life
before it became

the day you died?

No reflexes can wake you
now, no tallies
too low, temperatures

too high. You used

to say time
was make believe,
manufactured to manage obsessions—

yours, mine, the rest

of the world’s. When light
rain placates a summer afternoon,
I wonder who

did the making and what

materials were used. You would
have known. Which mattered
most—the distance

you traveled or the moments

passed observed? You kept track
of both despite everything
because you knew

no other way to live.