Savage Pageant: 33 Weeks

for the panther, escaped


[ley-ber] noun


1.productive activity, especially for the sake of economic gain.

2.the body of persons engaged in such activity, especially those work-
ing for wages.

3.this body of persons considered as a class (distinguished from manage-
ment and capital).

Last week I felt your hiccups
for three days straight. This week,


unknown. A collection of impulses—
this savage page. I pay to sit


with a circle of strangers to feel
more prepared and one woman


cries. I feel my eyes roll and
I curl into another language.


I am obsessed with hiding my own
nakedness. The body on display:


a public domain of choices made—
a needle, a drink of sugar, the sun


going down when I rise. Is it madness
to have you? Elephants breaking


the main water line. There are
things I’d like to tell you before


you are born: like don’t ever sit
in circles with strangers, like

 

you don’t always have to be in
motion to survive, like the human


heart is capable of making the
head feel very small. And the


last tissue I’ll give you, before
giving you away to the clock


and the stars, is a simple one:
already you are part of the air


and this end will not summarize
forever. Stay static, for a time,


and hold onto the slippery pull
of hearsay, rumor—these legends.


Even if they are stones, they are
made of sand. And even if you can’t


jump ship, you might not
need to find your way home.


 

A line drawing in black ink: A curly-haired figure, looking straight toward the viewer, stands on top of an elephant lying on their side and looking away