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if leaving the garden is akin
to being struck by lightning

if the law is less abstract in
question marks less an empty

cavern than uncertain chronology
where every reptile loves

in tendencies if eve our singular
disciple if i learn to be less

annoyed in magical thinking
if i can become more we

become more simple reconciliation
with the word “holy” or “charisma”

or “debt” or “lonely” or “atone”









how we get news changes how we fall
from collective memory how a person

becomes problem how we forget
what it means to look through

telescopes how it’s conducive to how
i want just possibility just crafted just

right how i worry i’m not we’re not enough
just producer because sometimes

being witness just isn’t enough









how speech might help
loss how our doubts seem

richer how code shifting
should not be severe

how we’re all intrinsically
valuable how there’s always

a way to connect how
glaciers are more than

a giant hunk of ice how
articulate how operational

how rigorous how am i
still driving in the midst

of so many inches
of hypothetical snow









what in this expansion optional
story starts in traditional structure

like backlit photograph farming for
the idea of farming and fixating

on things only a cardinal should see
our ships corrupt      what if we don’t

fly don’t float draw plain houses
with multiple trees    hear language

then feel something as if curtain
my costume       i just can’t









fuck all this need to make
legible geysers of familiar

masochism     picnic table
elegance gone viral because

this time i write as fallen man
fallen from sermonizing miss-

understanding fallen it’s
exceptional how often i want

entropy instead of haloes
or the sting supposed to

move you make you feel
marvel at responsibility

a beautiful indulgence where
i live by default exude a need

to wrangle institutional gods
by means of contracts i quote

here for security “only
victims tell stories in public”







erica kaufman

erica kaufman is the author of Instant Classic (Roof Books, 2013).


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2015

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