Every story is a creation story

Monday, July 5, 2010

There was a better couch
in his convertible couch. He revealed it
the day a fly kept flying into my face.
It was trying to commit suicide, he explained.
The better couch had a better couch
inside, and so on, though just when I was sure
there’d be a microscopic and extravagant
couch at the end—a gold couch, a couch made
of the woven hairs of Judy Garland—there was a box,
a wooden box with a silver clasp. Inside
the wooden box with a silver clasp
was a cloud, cumulus, crisply edged.
I searched for pins or wires holding the cloud
in place, but its hovering was a matter
of free will, of historical truth. For as he told
the story, the cloud had been there first,
the box built around the cloud, the layers of couch
around the box, the house around the layers
of couch, then sky, then stars, then whatever
is after stars. I stood there
considering the despondency of the fly,
trying to decide if the nothing beyond everything
is something or if the something beyond everything
is nothing, when my friend remembered he had a roast
in the oven, and I hoped, without expressing
my hope, that small potatoes nestled
against the roast. They did, and we ate well,
and I went home to the fly spinning on the floor
like a boy did on a motorcycle up the street
when I was young, under smoke that slowly cleared
to reveal a black circle. He did this again and again—
more spinning, more smoke, more circles—
for the longest time, for my entire youth, it seemed,
there was a boy making this noise, these rings,
as if writing O, O, O on the world,
to leave at least a chronicle of our surprise.

Thursday, July 1, 2010