Wednesday Poem

Jeet Thayil

Leap tall buildings in a single bound? Forget
you, buddy, I
leap years, avenues,
financial/fashion/meatpacking districts, 23
MTA buses parked end to
end. I leap Broadway,
yoyo to
traffic light, to
bus top, to Chrysler, to jet.
You need a mind of sky, of rubber,
to understand I. You need
silence, cunning. Exhale!
You need to know that everything is metaphor,
that poems sprout
in my hands
like mystic confetti, like
neural string theory.
My brother, Mycroft, is tiny, but a genius,
oh a tiny genius, whose
“art is subtle, a precision of hallucinatory brilliance,”
—that’s serious talk, boy—
he’s ‘furthermore’ and ‘however,’ I’m
“know what I’m saying?” and ‘whatever.’
He is the ghost ant, the one who is not
there, unseen until he stops
moving. I am
companion to owl and peregrine,
emperor of air, and I’m loyal
to you my loyal subject, whose hard-won
pleasure I perform,
and though I’m not rich it takes a lot
of cash to keep me
in the poverty to which I’m accustomed.