SUZANNE WISE

Outer Space

When I thirsted for a self beneath the billboard for the Powerball. When the beige powder fell from my skin onto the napkin with the water from my eyes. When the scrawny bird of unknown name hopped closer to see if I was food. This was when I noticed your intrusion. Why have you banished me to your outer space, where the PODs Moving and Storage truck rumbles by oblivious to the moat of air I carried here to a bench too early on a Saturday because I have nowhere to sleep because I sleep not, no matter where. Some alive thing quakes beneath the thin crust of this minor planet: it takes bodies away, brings more, nothing personal, not a hell, just vibrations and then nearly still. The basketball game is over, just about 8 o’clock of a morning. The men from India wait on the corner to start a job. The parked movie trucks pretend everything is planned out: cameras ready for the stars to emerge from their trailers. The basketball game isn’t over; the tall men only paused to shout at each other. If the universe is a collection of overlapping patches, then you are ripping at the seams. Police officer after police officer ambles through the empty corner where the Indian men used to be. I climb out of the threadbare version of my sorrow and turn the knob. The inside is cool, so I enter.

BIO: Suzanne Wise lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan at the poetry library and literary center Poets House.

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