below

It isn’t really possible to see the sky:
celestial beings obstruct the view,
faceless, angry ’cause they are not angry enough
to destroy what they haven’t created.
It isn’t possible to hear it:
raccoons slumber under the mountains,
hugging empty coke bottles,
burning cars pass by, fish repose in the elevators,
windowpanes and singers lie buried in the ground
horses never tread upon.
Some people have escaped from Chairman Mao,
Li Bai and Chuang Tzu, others from Ivan the Terrible,
Dostoevsky and Chekhov. They change with the weather and prices,
they always have something to say. The fear of death
is outdated, they say, like matchboxes. They arrive in America
only to discover that horses are more free than humans here,
and fish sweat and blabber like horses.
They don’t fall into despair. They learn to skate instead.
Can you skate, they ask me. No, I say.
Fish frolic with ice cream, radishes and the infant Jesus,
grasshoppers turn into Martian hieroglyphs on scuffed soles sometimes.

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