Kent Shaw | Two Poems

I IMAGINE MOST MOLECULAR ARRANGEMENTS ARE INDIFFERENT TO THE SYSTEM THEY ARE PARTICIPATING IN

There are molecules alive in my basement!
They are happening slowly. Like how mold is slow.
The rate of small animals burrowing into concrete is slow.
Maybe a water molecule is slow if it’s unaware of the other waters around it.

If I were a molecule, I would be falling in love with everything around me.
How do you plan for the future like this?
How are you supposed to make all those different parts of your life into a whole? I don’t even know the expected lifetime of a molecule.
How can I be populated by molecules and not know this?

If there were any justice in this world the molecules of matter would get to meet with the molecules of time. And they would commiserate on the seeming insignificance of their existence.
How the people of this world just pass them over.
They’re nothing.

Only an animal that is stalking its prey is careful enough to think of molecules existing.
A heron standing at the river’s edge.
A snake. Pretty much all the time a snake.
And a mountain. I won’t forget the singular look of each mountain while the sun rises behind it. 


A BIRD LAID FLAT ON THIS FIRMAMENT

I want to make a bird fall from the sky, into a nest, off the top railing. I want to throw a bird at my window.
Flying is violence, and I want a bird to learn everything.
A spring day. Jasmine blooming. I want to know why.

Many of my friends pretend to fly.
They say, Graceful. While they’re falling at the earth. It takes no effort apparently.
To fall is to falling as sky is always sky.

I tried throwing my friend at a window once.
I said, Fall. And everything fell into pieces.
That’s when he opened himself up to me. But nothing was there.

Something about an open wound is intimidating.
Someone threw a bird at my window. My window resisted. Now I know the inside of a bird.

Go birds of spring. My youth was spent interrogating the citizens from another country. Cats and other animals, too. Too many kinds of animals.
All lavish catastrophes.

Go birds of spring. Other birds will gather. I can wait. They could all be birds.