OF SOFAS AND PALANQUINS

Two men step from sidewalk to street,
a sofa and chairs piled up, strapped to their brows,
bare legs, rubber sandals, heads

bent, bodies leaning
against the bulk
and drag of someone else’s

furniture. It’s after they tread past
that traffic stops. What cars there are
elbow back as young men

tilt in tandem,
an ornate wooden palanquin
raised on bent shoulders.

Inside, a stiff faced goddess glowers.
Half-drunk dancers and off-key clarinets
celebrate her approach.

Standing still, walking in place
I cross between sofa
and palanquin

no load to bear nor rite to celebrate
walking simply to walk
to feel my gaze

widen through the pace
and cadence of legs torso arms
looking out from

within, and later
to gather from these words
where I’ve been.

Saying is in retrospect
Seeing embodied. Between saying
and seeing

the world makes its presence
known

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