Too slight to nudge the needle
on a seismograph, a tremor swept
the globe of my eye last night.
Now every place the eyelid
lifts its shade, the same shred of wreckage
washes up on the landscape.
No more still life: over pears
glazed centuries ago on canvas
a fly in my eye grazes.
A phantom inkspot lands in
between inspiration and my hand
and tracks the clean white paper.
Broken away, a dark new
moon in erratic orbit, it draws
an ocean of doubts towards it
about the mother planet.
How stable is the old high roller?
How supportive? Taking in
the sights, we fix our tripod
on a bubble, terra no firmer
than filmy air. Earth's shifty—
rain-riddled, unsettled by
the drift of its own sleepwalking,
transfigured in journeys through
the tunnels of the bodies
of wormmouths that swallow, nothing
on earth or in it given
to rest. Like the globe itself
we're all floaters. What we see is one
with where we are and, inspired
by earth's refusal to shake
the dead hand of gravity, we see
ourselves in this buoyancy.
From Afloat (Brick, 2013) by John Reibetanz.