d u s t a n d m i s t
P A T R I C K K E L L Y
...all poets love dust and mist because
all the last answers go running back to dust and mist.
There are no answers for you here because there
are no answers for anyone, only contrivances,
only frustrations. I am one of them.
If I look down through my new glasses
the floor seems far away.
My feet curve at the edge of the lenses,
an illusion I hope goes away.
I have been on my feet all day long.
My feet hurt. The arches are flat,
therefore no longer arches.
I don't know how long I can hold up
without arches, without support.
If I were a bridge I would want to be
a suspension bridge. If I were a church
I would want to be a cathedral
with flying buttresses.
Flying buttresses are curiously named,
extending arm-like to provide support,
not flying nor flapping, just steady.
I am crumbling. I don't hate you
nearly as much as I hate myself.
If you stop crying I might stop sulking.
I woke up early to watch you sleep
but you were awake before me again.
If I had enough money I would buy
those special shoes that help your arches.
My arches. It doesn't work because
it can never work. That is my answer
but it is no real answer. Have I ever
been involved in anything that does work?
There is a cathedral in Spain that's
been half built since the 1890's
so get off my back for ten minutes.
© crossconnect 1995-1999
published in association with the
university of pennsylvania
kelly writers house