Who will not
argue teleology in this technopolis?
I want tea,
in a tea cup, something teeny and gilded,
on bone china. The telemetry tells us all
are tedious like a child’s tooth waiting to bite
onto the teething ring. You telegraph your moves.
I don’t need
telepathy to see your technique is rusty.
I can teach you.
Put your neck in the harness—we’ll pull as a team.
the tectonic plates toward the teeming oceans.
the fields left to wild stands of teasel and honeysuckle,
the margins of suburbia.
We’ll teeter on the edge, a teaspoon hanging on
a saucer’s lip.
That old double-slit experiment—particle
or wave? You can’t be in two places at once,
chew the candle at both ends, make the
waterwheel send the river backward.
The wave front approaches relentlessly.
No life is watertight and the leaks aren’t a
weakness, right? We like to say uncertainty
is a weapon. We wear it like armor.
Aren’t you reassured your wayward
can be weaned? No water table is stable
forever. No wayfarer forgets home. You wax
and wane and dream of a cabin of clay
and wattles made, but the cedar
waxwing’s alien eyes are obsidian
chips surveying the wayside for beetles.
The weals on your back may heal, but
they still point the way forward.
Phoebe Reeves earned her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College, and now teaches English at the University of Cincinnati’s Clermont College, in Southern Ohio. Her chapbook The Lobes and Petals of the Inanimate was published by Pecan Grove Press in 2009. Her poems have recently appeared in Versal, failbetter, Quarterly West, and Memorious. Her manuscript, Helen of Bikini, was recently named as a finalist in the Sarabande Books Kathryn A. Morton Prize.