by Jackson Arn
Not knowing they’re impossible, they slip
through geometry or fitting, go
squarish where they must, kissing
the rainbow mouths to right-left-up-down
from here to death.
Bathing in clones, each holds,
with skin and neighbors,
a secret breath.
The most amazing part is not how amazing
they are, but how the toddler
on the tiles, shaking hands with each square,
has already found, in brushed-off hair
and papers, a crowd to waddle her
pup’s weight through—never racing—
so that the magnets waiting in the box
are characters but not heroes, neither main
nor supporting. Or supporting
and main (so hard, contorting
your busy-proud, life-fed brain
to make a toddler’s visions into thoughts),
everyone introducing themselves, no background.
She hop-strolls through the yelling,
the sideshows trying to astound her,
from the chill clacking stones (the magic you remember)
to the crumpled plastic wrap reswelling
with a wet laughing sound.
III: Celebrity, age 12
He stands, pre-fame, for his class picture,
his scowl meaning fear, not genius or sex,
which could, I guess, be seen as inspiring—
something to laugh about when he’s sure
the seats are sold, or, after retiring,
a joke he’ll crack to prove how far he’s risen.
First page of the biographer’s index;
last fame of every psychedelic vision.