Always that spectral fragment. Filament of line cast back there.
Where open-mouthed fish rise to gulp down shiny lures.
I sang once in an auditorium to almost empty rows.
I looked for my people in the seats, under the seats, behind
the seats, but they weren’t there. I called the three people
who were there to come up and introduce themselves.
They were young aspirants. They talked about themselves
their professional websites. They talked about their astronomical
aspirations. What they didn’t talk about is why.
Maajaa. Time collapses everything. Oragami people.
We’re all eventually blown away into uncertainty.
Azhegiiwe. Is that how you say it? It’s that too.
We all return, if only by the stars.
For a while we thought we could change the world.
For a while we thought we had a place in the world.
The offers came. Good ones. Corner offices. Security.
Mortgages. Investments. Cars. Boats. Houses. Memberships
to health clubs, fan clubs. Promotion. Seduction. Reduction.
Fame. Fame. Fame.
He says, business is business. She says, look at me.
I say, it was planned and bound to happen.
Together we held the thrashing fish in our hands and felt the world slip.
Armand Garnet Ruffo, "Filament" from Treaty #. Copyright © 2019 by Armand Garnet Ruffo. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Source: Treaty # (Buckrider Books, 2019)