Others call it fog.
Others follow the fragmented trace
pooling around ankles, anchors trapped inland dread.
Others turn to the scalpel for release (every mirror inhabited by phantom)
Fog in between elements and my father’s voice
traveling the surface of each limbo collision
sound and water wave against wave: ghosts, he says,
there in the streetlamps of Inner Empire
treading their miracle up into the haze.
Others give it borders halos of time and space
I spaced my clues gave each one the chance to confess
Still they hid in each other’s omissions (a province’s thick broth
mother lunacy Protestant shoreline traced over Mongolia
series of erotic tumors schizophrenic aftermath
the hex of the lunar calendar dialect and birdsong
all mispronounced then forgotten then: this smell of fog
like a crease crushed into the cartography of memory)
Still the coordinates of the place I longed for retreated from me
as lovers retreat into unidentical delusions.
No others no-place
what to do but hoard the remaining solaces—
in the smooth directional throat of the wayward that must arrive,
forgiving obscurities mist
memories of petrichor porridge morning routine
You ask me and I answer
my hope and my horror are equally absolute