Not Inside
Paul Killebrew

Where everything is, exactly, now,

how it resides in a certain

field of vision

and then punches out of the air

into explosive fact, anchors

in empty cylinders,

one foot on the ramp

and a hand

that cannot remember

the street.

He showed her into the living room

and felt for the buttons on his collar

while she watched him over the bridge of her nose.

Miles from tolerable,

single photographs in separate boxes

laid out in a grid,

motion and sparse

arrangement, naked

human beings

hurled into darkness

and you couldn’t even look up

but who could

with the neon

twisting like an interstate

through our bodies.

No one heard me

peeling the orange.

I lived mostly as a walk

through frozen iterations

of a neighborhood,

everyone’s briefly meeting faces

seeming to allude

to a future conversation

in a smoke-filled garden

draped in beads.

Theories found us

huddled in our comfortable resemblances,

scouring each change

in the melody of conversation

for a method,

a route through the atmosphere

from eyes like condemned theaters

to the adventure of pure meaning

we are sure awaits us.