a typo of the first order, a question of being
in an online search for a newspaper article.
breaking too early, thinking how the past
will append to my biography someday,
which tragedy I’ll be remembered for most
This is naked curiosity.
The column illustrated how frequently words
become redundancies to our time, excess
voicing of what we’ve seen, felt, know to be
true. For every hundred parrots, stationary
flocks, life lacerates someone’s tongue for
speaking out, spilling secrets of who did what.
Because there are names to taste.
And titles to learn. Of course countries are among
the first, and cities and county lines, authority
figures—yes, officer, he was thirsty—most of
all two parents, which is often more than enough.
Mommy carries her own set of keys in case
Daddy forgets his, or is too angry to drive, too
tired, too drunk, can’t find the house under these
conditions, doesn’t need to be hounded anymore.
Eventually we struggle to remember how fast
our car was going, the black writing on the dial.
The doctors tell you where the brain has atrophied,
terms that mean nothing beyond another temporary
state, a last stop before leaving the map, hunting
for anything with greater definition than snipe,
conjecture, where birds lift and have no place to
alight, a partial world of cavities instead of walls,
the parietal breakdown that causes visitors to offer
corrections when you explain who you have seen
recently, street names, who was really driving that night.
Matt Kolbet teaches and writes in Oregon.