Spring 2011



[You Can Look Through These Windows—Look, & Not See Anything. . .]

John Pursley III

You can look through these windows—look, & not see anything
For days at a time—stand, & stare, until the whole town vanishes

Behind its one marquee, which, just as quickly, flickers & goes out,
Proving again God’s existence & the obvious, impending failure

Of single-circuit electrical wiring. The entire world blurring white
With so much sun—assembling & reassembling—so much death

Filtering through the throat & lungs, the eyes, ears, &c.—all of it,
Constantly at motion, constantly in flux: a fixity of wave-patterns

And particles of light—wavering between two points, permanent
Only in affiliation, or through our assimilation of the thing itself

Which isn’t difficult to do—considering the eyes’ ability to focus,
Drawing an object in, or offering-up closure . . . neither of which

Happens here, in this hotel—our hotel—overlooking the Atlantic,
But you get my point, & gather the towels, drying on the balcony,

New flip-flops popping against your heels as you cross the carpet,
A tropical scent of sunscreen & stale air circulating out into what-

Ever displacement happens there, as the door rolls forth, & back.
I am thinking of the heart—of prime & pump-handle—how we hurt

That which we cannot hold—& the very things we can, precisely 
Because we can . . . the perverse heart, the apparatus of the heart

Hardening, between liquid & solid, between gifts & the grievances
They offer us, even here, where we have chosen for our vacation

A hotel we can’t afford, a life we can’t afford; but also, can, & do.

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