Carol Hamilton

The enigmatic afternoon evades
our apperceptions,
turning the streets to stripes,

the roofs to rifle-shots,
the vacant lots to cold, cascading waves.

The trees are not transfixed.
They strut through the polluted, polished haze.
Plunge from the riverbank,

tango down boulevards,
threaten the clouds.

Often we live as if the world were just
a vast computer screen whose icons move
when some technician clicks upon the mouse.

This world can be shut down. Or put to sleep.
It boots up when our eyelids lift on light.

The fissured space
between the swollen night and broken day
hosts multiverses, where strange laws obtain.

This orange is the outpost for a world
with galaxies the size of microchips.

That gust of wind
could be the exhalation of a star
that crouches near your elbow, like a cat

about to pounce upon a ball of string.
The sky is always open. Here’s the door.