The Quiet Man

1 October 2015

If I told you, I was lying.
I’ve never seen past your front door.
The quiet man in the kitchen sings
this is all my business.

I’ve never seen past your front door
and I still forget your birthday.
This is all my business
while the atmosphere buckles.

That’s why I forget your birthday,
Venus, the door, the cat, this page—
the whole buckling atmosphere.
Remembering ties a knot.

The cat, the door, the page, the planet
wrung out by the sun.
Remember to tie a knot
on the tooth of the jaguar.

In the wringing sun,
in the death of hypergiants,
in the teeth of the jaguar,
there are licks of knowing.

If I told you I was lying.
In the place without any light
the quiet kitchen man sings.
He never opens his eyes.

This is all my business—
Venus, the door, the cat, the page,
the lies I was telling you
in the place without any light.

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