Chair Photo Series — We Should be Held and Be Forgiven

April 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Compatibalist 

by Ken Babstock

Awareness was
intermittent.
It sputtered.
And some of the time you were seen asleep.

So trying to appear whole
you asked of the morning:
Is he free
who is not free
 from pain?

It started to rain
a particulate
alloy
of flecked grey;
the dogs wanted out
into their atlas of smells;
to pee where before
they had peed,
and might well
pee again –
though it isn’t
a certainty.

What is?
In the set, called Phi,
of all possible
physical worlds
resembling this one,
in which, at time t,
was written
‘Is he free who is not free–‘
and comes the cramp.

Do you want to be singular
onstage, praised,
or blamed?
I watched a field of sun —
 flowers dial their
ruddy faces toward
what they needed
and was good.
At noon they were
chalices upturned,
gilt-edged,
and I lived in that
same light but felt alone.

I chose to phone my brother,
over whom I worried,
and say so.
He whispered,
lacked affect.
He’d lost my
record collection
to looming debt.
I forgave him —
through weak connections,
through buzz
and oceanic crackle —
immediately,
without choosing to,
because it was him
I hadn’t lost;
and later cried
myself to sleep.
In that village near Dijon,
Called Valley of Peace
a pond reflected its dragonflies
over a black surface at night,

and the nuclear reactor’s
far-off halo of green light
changed the night sky
to the west.
A pony brayed, stamping
a hoof on inlaid stone.
The river’s reeds
lovely, but unswimmable.
World deth on the event horizon
vigils in candles with cups

I’ve mostly replaced my records,
and acted in ways
I can’t account for.

Cannot account for
what you’re about to do.
We should be held and be forgiven.

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