Steven Ross Smith
fluttering. 41

it is simple, really. the milk carton, empty. he's cranky in
the morning. these two not related. forgive me. imageless.
empty of  ... pictures? sight? the eye wants to anchor back.
against the governing thrust. well, not exactly. more
hesitant nudge. this striving for a disintentioned sprawl.
pushing past the barrow or bough. amnesic. disinfoming as I
move. I cough. my hands stiffen to the breath. none of this
is like poetry. it is easy to delay, the vessel empty. a
yellow egg sits on my sill. it is the shape of eternity.
there is no centre at this edge. that bush flaming in my eye
reminds me I have come up to morning light. wind is brisk.
fingers slip. you were angry with delay. furious. used up
by the slack. I recompose, listen, but the notes are
imperceptible. my ear is plugged. damaged drum. pardon me
does not help as I am striving to hear beyond. or am I
deceiving myself?  nothing helps. the pouring milk is
soundless. what can you expect of a vacuum? everything
fills, corrects itself eventually. doesn't it? blue jay
jackhammers the sunflower head. gulps. is gone in a cerulean
flash. what is the order of things? I have no coffee. black,
it's a void I can't stomach. everyone and all their
conversations are drifiting to my cochlea. why can't I hear?
so much for distant whispering. so much for black and red
and dependency. even the jay does not shriek. I put on my
coat. cough in chilled air. walk through my breath to the

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