Kiki Volkert

i can tell the museum guard is concerned
she lunges and leans, makes a face like

a palette at the bottom of sink, walks
over, asks if i’m okay, eyes following lines
she’s added while staring at this space
every day, a bug is squashed on the
scene, head is craned and swooping
like at the end of an inspired arm, i say

yes, i’m fine but i could trip on a shoelace
and smash everything at any second.

i’m managing but i could saturnize while
identifying with that old thing, i am also

that glass, i am the girl watching her
grandmother get excited by the craftsmanship
of chairs, i am the corner turned towards
just a wall, water fountain, sneakers squeak
and time squints far from the recognition
of tombs as real. the lines arrive before

i have the chance to touch all the stories
i could tell of the ways this affects me,
even the way it did when i could

talk to the cypress trees from my window.
i say i’m just trying to get out my body,
this one is full of swept rust, i’m just trying
to induce threatening dreams of being
too small, where is the water hiding,

where is the heart smashed behind a tree,

how can i smear absurdity, how is the
vandalism around here, what can i do with it all