Backyard Rowing

  1. “Forces it all to happen. It happens.”
  2. —Inger Christensen, translated by Susanna Nied
  3.  
  4. Into our fastidious rock garden, we tweeze event.
  5. Lock the screen door to watch our neighbors argue
  6. on their front porch steps.
  7. Keychain-troll to ward off tragedy.
  8. How to assess our anxiety over VISA payments
  9. and too much late night TV?
  10. My new sundress is neither the solution nor the absurdity,
  11. but in the afterlife, I want to remember your hands
  12. helping me unbutton its buttons.
  13. This is eternity, whisper the extras—
  14. tonight, in black and white; tomorrow, Technicolor,
  15. as they sink the Bismarck, stream under the Arc de Triomphe,
  16. jeer the gladiators.
  17. How to make amends for our meager grasp
  18. of mortality?
  19. No help from explanation, which always behaves badly.
  20. Squirming in its fictive seat.