I am Carpet in a Carpet Store

having never been convinced spies exist, whether in water
or in my toaster—butter-melting bugs from Langley; they might be actors,
they might be trashmen or a photogenic species created and medicated
for espionage-themed parties, cocktails no one drinks—

—such theories manifest themselves across the board, like
chalk dust eraser marks, all geometric riddles, all wingspans, all yardsticks,
all 100-meter dashes, all the ones you never win due to a low tolerance
for pain, a high palate and narrow nose

as a result I became one who believes his life is not worth photographing,
his friends those who find him not quite funny enough to capture,
a fascinating, funny fish. underfed immigrants propped upon one another
like jokes in a bad stand-up routine. buoyant jelly beans.

like that poem that says “I am the manhole in a black road,” but were it me,
would read “I am the unnoticeable bit of road beside the manhole”—unmarked, and patched semi-often. I am the background swatch of a still life in an amateur’s studio, which doubles

as a sewing room for her daughter’s niece, Elisabeth. I am, perhaps, the angel
who obeys without question. the grapefruit picked for factory canning in Mexico.
I am autism without the serious defects, discomfort without source or severity.

Without cause or effect.

a voice in the most common register. that color suburban homeowners
paint their family rooms to match everything. the dog so pleasant-faced
he’s overlooked and left until the syringe is his final master.

When I lie down I am a country road undriven, gravel worn only by wind and rain
and Spring-time run-off, the occasional county vehicle.

and as a result of this curious, infinite limbo—this nonplace—I find voices
of the head to be exaggerative, tales of heroism poorly written fiction, spies,
dinosaurs. show me all the bones you want. I am unimpressed.

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