Of the distance between actuality
and ideal much has been said,
frequently in the passive voice,
so that we are distanced from
the voices of those who have said it.
I wonder what they were wearing
as they sat and pondered these things.
I imagine them in long robes
devoid of wrinkles and stains.
Of the long tables and the murmured
assents, the polite dissents, nothing
can be known. The academic discussions
remain themselves undiscussed.
Meanwhile I am staring at the blood I spilled
last night, watching it dry. My body
is a bleaching hump on the carpet.
I’m hovering in the air above it,
attached to nothing. Of the nature
of that nothing nothing is known, although
speculations have been raised so often
that we have the illusion of certainty
about it, an illusion that some say
is worth considering the truth, even as they
mark time with learned talk,
waiting to be informed of their accuracy
at the moment they themselves find themselves
hovering with me, looking down at what should be
their own perfect, unspoiled forms,
and finding themselves dismayed.