There could be more: a seed, a speck,
a mud-colored bone. Could be
a scheduled stop, a vividly
depicted shore against which
a ceaseless beating. Don’t ask me
how much I need, how
purposeful I am. Through
a window or in the mail, could be
an escape, a damp footprint
inexplicable on the floor.
Sitting up, standing,
hand in my own hand,
hair on my neck slightly alert—
a bandage, a spoon cool to the touch,
the velocity of figure over ground.
Swarming fans, their loud
imperative mood; strugglers,
each graced by the novelist’s
telling trait & winning way.
There could be more: a confession’s
calculated arc of descent, a room cleaned,
the patient having checked out.
Pages learned, ambiguous tints
brought into focus, curtains drawn
as if they could conceal
the decision made in the near dark,
each visible to the other
but not really, not enough.
There could be more: latches
heard while lying in bed;
a photo of soldiers holding ropes
that fills my head,
one afternoon, riding the train,
emptiness as sharply felt as ever.
There could be, might
be, but you can be sure that less
stalks more at every turn.
Albert Mobilio is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award. His work has appeared in Harper’s, The Village Voice, AGNI online, Black Clock, BOMB, Tin House, and elsewhere. Books of poetry include Bendable Siege, The Geographics, Me with Animal Towering, and Touch Wood (forthcoming). He is assistant professor of literary studies at The New School’s Eugene Lang College and is co-editor of Bookforum. (updated 5/2010)