Dedication

By Ben Lerner

For the figure

failed to humanize

the scale. For the work,

the work did nothing but invite us

to relate it to

the wall.

For I was a shopper in a dark

aisle.

 

For the mode of address

equal to the war

was silence, but we went on

celebrating doubleness.

For the city was polluted

with light, and the world,

warming.

For I was a fraud

in a field of poppies.

 

For the rain made little

affective adjustments

to the architecture.

For the architecture was a long

lecture lost on me, negative

mnemonics reflecting

weather

and reflecting

reflecting.

 

For I felt nothing

which was cool,

totally cool with me.

For my blood was cola.

For my authority was small

involuntary muscles

in my face.

For I had had some work done

on my face.

 

For I was afraid

to turn

left at intersections.

For I was in a turning lane.

For I was signaling,

despite myself,

the will to change.

For I could not throw my voice

away.

 

For I had overslept,

for I had dressed

in layers for the long

dream ahead, the recurring

dream of waking with

alternate endings

she’d walk me through.

For Ariana.
For Ari.

 

 

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