I was shipwrecked beneath a stormless sky
in a sea shallow enough to stand up in.

Fernando Pessoa

They’re laughable
when we get there—
the ultimate articulations
of despair: trapped
in a tub filling with
our own tears; strapped
to a breadstick mast
a mouse could chew
down; hopping around
the house in paper shackles
wrist and ankle. It’s
always stagey. Being
lost is just one’s fancy—
some cloth, some paste—
the essence of flimsy.
Therefore we
double don’t know
why we don’t take off
the Crusoe rags, step
off the island, bow
from the waist, accept
your kudos.



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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 22 Number 8, on page 53
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