Insofar as Heretofore  

Loitering outside
library I see
snow ripple,
twist, “wraith-
like,” I think,
dismiss. Rather—
novel knockout
gas seeping
under door, snaking
along ankles?
I tilt across
concrete, tend
toward entrance,
exhale before
walloping, unwashed
pong, tint
of cigarettes,
liquor, mine
so frequently
recently. I look
then look away,
allowing, I
do not say,
the shivering,
clasping couple
in shrubbery
privacy. We’re
brand-loyal to sorrow.
Consider the body’s
built-in obsolescence.
See stars as punctures
punctuating dark.
In the bloodstream’s
green room our
featured speaker
limbers, repeating
“Unique New York
and “Lurid as
the murdered’s
room, lurid
as the murderer’s.”
Suppose we pine
to make of wind
a kind of currency,
of the fungible
currents of the wind
an economy
with affluence
ample for all,
fluttering scraps
pay stubs, plenty
for every hand,
naked as grass.
Look:  Beyond
the gas stations, past
apartment complexes
named for extinct
animals, someone’s
ignited the horizon.
Let’s feel
the scurrying
feeling our street’s
named for. Really:
someone’s upholstered
the earth’s edge
in spectacle.

Aaron Anstett