how many / times must I be broken and reassembled!
The air was a season they had bought…
I never learned to fix anything
It always comes / back to light.
a game, something someone / played, once.
…more than a pool / of smudges and parts.
“In the background always a lake, / always the one you kept trying to row across.”
“the swell / of narcotics transmuted / into testament”
I have nothing to say. I am a recording machine, / a listening device.
I wrote “Confession” in the winter, recently after I had moved from Iowa City to Cambridge, MA. I’d moved from a rambling attic apartment with secret unfinished rooms to a partially furnished attic studio with a shared bathroom down the hall. My writing space was the floor. The convent of San Marco in Florence, Italy contains small, individual cells, like a beehive, that monks would use for devotion. Each cell is bare save for a simple fresco by the early Renaissance master Fra Angelico. My room in Cambridge hardly had a monastic aesthetic; books and clothes were piled in geological strata. Every so often, I would find a bee feebly circling around the lampshade, or a couple of dead bees in the windowsill. “Confession” came to me after receiving a phone call very early in the morning from a friend whom I hadn’t spoken with in months. I don’t know why she chose that morning. She was in a difficult relationship, unhappy, isolated, yet surrounded by a city; I was feeling adrift and lonely, uncertain …