dachshund boxes– sometimes we fit snugly into odd spaces, shady alcoves with dishes of holy water to wash by– the places pop random and queer-fitting, tuckable with granite and pointing that squares us in– living sarcophagi we shake off and move out of with each shout of the alarm– out in the world where corners only occasionally invite you to crawl inside– suitcase closet, back booth, the palm of someone’s hand– but then they’re reaching for that glass, or a pile of shoes digs into your kidneys, and you realize it’s time to act like somebody upstanding. it’s a lot of work not to let the crumpling show. for some of us the bed pulls like north the needle. what do you do? keep getting up again, feet on the cold floor– practice gratitude for vertebrae that stack right, for certain mercies of random fortune like food in the fridge, hot water to stand under, transportation– for friends stretched wide like a net to catch you across the country. sometimes it’s hard to feel them so far away, like across town. all too easy to imagine we’re unconnected as we go through our glamorless routine and see the face in the mirror change. maybe inevitable to become strange to ourselves, as we’re always different than we were, what we thought we knew, but never did at the time. in the middle of the night the clock slows down and wakes you with the clamor of its gears– all the things not done: you think through every one, as if thinking were work itself. daily stacks happen– envelopes you can’t bear to open, gifts received, all the residue of that upright march that amounts to something unaccountable. another day you might sort it, find places to put new accumulations, brave the letter opener– in the mean time that day takes time arriving, and the drift across the desk develops sedimentary striations to mark events, anniversaries– left long enough it’ll grow petroglyphs, and maybe some scientific analysis might be performed. they’re doing amazing things with carbon and dna. left long enough, who knows, the scientist might even make some sense of what lived here. to be sure, the inhabitants themselves have little clue. the gods grumble and the ground erupts, just like that. not like our drilling might have anything to do with it. as if we were instrumental in our own doom. nobody in here but us primitive cultures, off the hook by shortsight. I’ve got glasses somewhere but can’t be bothered to wear them, dents on the bridge of the nose presenting a formidable obstacle.