for Alli Warren
Today the observation deck is ringed
in clouds, which must be why reception’s
going in and out like a lakeside crowd.
Memory is a function of
the shirt I’m wearing, its graduated
stripes bleeding into the space between.
I’m being called on to speak. What
can I say but what’s already said
in the course of history, hardly
heard before it generates
its opposite, warning me about
the submerged rocks, the shallow bed.
Around the cardiovascular rotunda
we’re ringed like men, fooled into
thinking we’re not looking at ourselves.