BEFORE DINNER Alec Hershman
We believed in simple things, like crystals,
and applied them to the mind. Still,
pervasive questions were ways of asking if anyone
was with us—couldn’t a curator, for example,
really enter either room since, after all,
the world was both inside and out?
One by one came each of the people I knew,
slide-shown in the doorway. Outside
it was snowing. It was Thanksgiving.
There is a vision of oneself precise as a candle.
There is the ether-script of impatient fingers
drumming on the table, and three rooms I memorize
like a bulls-eye in the shape of an ear.
Someone talks to return the arrow.
Somewhere in woods aspersions
spatter a deer and we’re snow-locked
in a kill-vision of our hunter’s hands.
Here, betrayal runs rivers
out of salivation, whole armies of ephemera
cross on a talking-point, and are gone.
Where have you been? is required of the melt
when you enter his house. A hole in the ice
leaves a leg in the creek. These things I know,
I know from the bottom up: no fill in saying
the starving wolf is graceful.