Letter to My Aunt
Sometimes, you get to
the top of a ladder and discover you're
at the wrong building.
- Joseph Campbell
"Anymore questions about the fall?" The
fall knocked my head ajar and a soul crept
It spends its days napping on the hide-away,
answering the phone "Acme
Night Owl Service" or alternately "Edifice
Architects, may I help you?"
These days, the air in the morning is cooler.
A blue sky and weaker sun host whispered
conferences on the balcony.
We should stay. We're entitled. We should
organize for a sense of mystery.
We could do better than the north wind's
dwindling scarf of migratory ducks.
The soul has your manner: a handful of wings,
a grin in its voice,
a little bit happier than you were perhaps.
Sleeps a lot.
A good day walks it down and back along
the six blocks between the cathedral
and movie theater. There's the house that
hatches plots. There's the house
with the plastic lawn. "Sometimes a smaller
circle will occur inside a larger circle."
Like that time a boy waiting at the corner
found a View-Master near the stop sign.
I can see it as if I were there--a strange
shape flung out a car window,
as blue as the sky, fourteen extra larger
At first we carried the snow in our mouths
to see how long we could keep it whole.
The snow is order, we said and began to
speak, in place of snow, about heat and
Then we began to build. All summer long,
the blazing noon-
time men bend and straighten on the roofs
above us. Wheel barrows, ropes,
ladders, tar trowels. Order in our mouths
in our mouths: there were no finished statements,
no rest. In place of rest,
we raised houses and miracles, lifted stains
whole from the carpets. All summer long,
at noon, women bend and straighten into
voices across the playground, lining us
at one end of an underground speaking tube
for our names to organize out of thin air,
for the start to move us into our mouths
and our mouths change us into parts we can