Provisional Certainties

by Michael Davidson

Michael Davidson

I look in the box marked “save”
and find the file “inutile”
for which I appear to have been searching
since the last dream of leaving,
I am perpetually late
and write my address
on an envelope to be enclosed
in a second envelope, there are no stamps
no pen, we are celibate
in a world at war, intimacy
has been ruled ineffective
or perhaps “inoffensive,” the Court
has a ruling somewhere
in a language no one is allowed
to learn, I hate to be obtuse
but what is a flagellant
for? I saved the receipts
for our trip to the desert,
you set up the tent in the wind
while I boiled water,
we shared a language, read Stendahl
in the rain, now
I tie my shoes, wincing
over a body that has learned to live
without time, the mirror
time proffers and a little dog
trotting along at my heels,
it must be
time to roll up the sky
and alphabetize the Gods
according to their ability to sanction grace,
we who were once chosen
must file a request
to speak with the concierge,
there are no more rooms
and the passage is vacant
at the Hotel Chopin,
but the city is based on a map
and each night we enter the labyrinth
untutored in acronyms
that may refer to us,
in the park
portals of memory can be seen
through the mist,
on the opposite side of the lake,
a small boat with a red sail
is on its way
into the present.

Last updated December 24, 2022