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   c o m p a s s    i n    t h e    d r a w e r

--- A M Y   H O L M A N

I learned to draw perspective
         from my brother: a dot as tunnel, from
                 which two lines spread out like rays, a road,
and yellow passing lines go thin to thick,
                         cars whishing back. John was to be an architect,
I, an actress. Precision versus drama?
                         What’s wrong with this picture: waiting
                 for the F train to light and fill this tunnel,

unlink us for downtown and Brooklyn, I stop talking to listen.

Everything, he’s drawn to scale–staircase,
         denouement–at an angle where he is familiar, while we,
                         two stories down, are out of earshot,
                 eyecatch, whiff, touch, kiss of any who seek us, love us,
draw conclusions. He misses his stop, talking,
         and we are underwater, riding fast, yet without its truth–
                         currents like ankle bracelets,
                 swallows of ocean.

It’s the long fins of the humpback that keep him cool,
         so he’ll pass without trouble the halves of the earth, before
returning home. My brother’s in my borough
                 and we wait for the F to take him back.
No one who knows us can see us and we can see
         we don’t know us. But, I ask myself, what’s wrong
with a picture? I draw perspective from my brother
                         and myself, spread out like rays, a road,
         wishing back and forth.

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