This life & no other. The flesh so innocent it walks along
The road, believing it, & ceases to be ours.
Weíre fate carrying a blown-out bicycle tire in one hand,
Flesh that has stepped out of its flesh,
Always ahead of ourselves, leaving the body behind us on the road.
Zampanò, what happens next? The clown is dead.
You still break chains across your chest though your heartís not in it,
Your audience is just two kids, & already there is
Snow in little crusted ridges, snow glazing cart tracks & furrows
Where you rest. And then what happens?
One day you get an earache. One day you canít breathe.
You notice the old nurse wears a girdle as she bends over you,
You remember the smell of Spanish rice from childhood,
An orphanage with scuffed linoleum on its floors.
You sit up suddenly, without knowing you have.
Your eyes are wide. You are stepping out of the flesh,
Because it now belongs to Zampanò, the Great.
Zampanò, I canít do all the talking for you. I canít go with you
Anymore. What happens next?
ďAlways what happens next, & then what happens after that.
Itís like you think weíre in a book for children. What happens next?
What does it look like is going to happen? Itís a carnival.
It happens on the outskirts of a city made of light & distance.
And well, itís just my own opinion, but . . . I think
Itís a pretty poor excuse for a carnival, torn tents, everything
Worn out. But I guess it has to go on anyhow. And I guess
Death will blow his little fucking trumpet.Ē
Blackbird Fall 2013
Copyright © 2014 by The Estate of Larry Levis
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission