topography: of an apartment

topography: of an apartment

the sheets are still in the dryer.
I wonder how long they would stay there if
there was no one around to take them out.
my bed looks naked for years, wastes away on her frame, becomes dust. how many times have I died there, closing my eyes and waiting
not to be.
an empty cup of tea with the bag
still inside sits on the dresser.
next to my favorite book— I have to ask
whether its spine would ever crackle like wildfire again
if there was nobody around to pick it up.
how much would stay closed, how much would go cold.
how much would gather this dust.
dishes in the sink,
plants on the sill, waiting to be watered.
succulents can go a long time without, but
the dishes would start to stink.
there is no point.
we will be back here, next week, doing this
same thing. over and
over again.
setting the plants to kiss the faucet, and
washing the faces of plates and
rinsing the throats of glasses, and
sweeping and brushing and
paying and praying and putting away,
just to do it all again the next week. and
for what.
the window opens, curtains fluttering and
it comes clear:
all the plants I have yet to water. all the sheets untucked. the faces
unknown. the books unopened, the tea undrunk.
how much would gather this dust.



On Martian skies darkness bestows
the end of Sun’s last minute-arc.
I find my battery is low
and outside it’s getting dark.

For fifteen years I did embark
into starlight’s afterglow,
but now Apollo at last departs
and I find my battery is low.

I provided images, film, and audio
about this barren galactic park
to my billion fans below,
but now for me it’s getting dark.

Fear not my dears, look up, take heart;
this present sorrow you will outgrow.
But before I finally depart,
I’ll stay until my battery is low.

I’ve carried all my cargo,
I’ve seen every lovely star,
so mourn not the fading show,
nor pay attention to the dark.

These will be my last remarks:
that I have loved this dusty snow,
ruling as a sole monarch,
despite a battery so low.

And when like me, you’re all alone,
have learned this emptiness by heart,
when you find your battery is low,
and outside it’s getting dark,

recall my hope that you will part,
follow your own divergent road,
and find your own universal spark
even when your battery is low.

My time has come, I’ve made my mark,
now Death’s sweet hand I must follow,
since my software will not restart;
at long last my battery is low,
and outside it’s getting dark.

view from my driveway

view from my driveway

See the ridge in the distance, rising
    peaks that touch the dawn.
Green risers in steppes from the base
    prove the diversity of the deceivingly
monotonous greenery,
    betraying deeper wisdom.
How much they must have to teach.

Ancients gaze from their heights,
    not down but out,
daring me to reach,
    to touch their
         burning edges
and endure the sunrise
    without remorse.
How far their eyes must reach.