She was dropping voluminous numbers
of books and backpacks, bathing towels
and children’s jackets on me—until
suddenly she noticed someone
suffocating underneath—and dug me out.
She rocked me sympathetically
for hours. “You get
no rest,” she said.
“You’re right, you’re right.
When I lie in the sun, I am clenching my fists;
when I’m deepest in sleep I am telling myself
I was carrying a corpse on my back,
in that bag. I knew the way you know
you are alive. At last at a tree
I came to a stop, and actually
opened the sack.
The body’s fingernails were tinily inscribed
with symbols, letterforms and ideograms, and all
in exquisite detail. I looked and looked, forgot
what worlds I hadn’t seen to, couldn’t read but knew at last
I didn’t need to.