You lean forward and stumble over what once was:
the horse’s leap before check mate, before memory
could move the position of our roots. How to escape the vicious game
of memory? There is a kind of futility
needed for a belief in lightness.
It’s enough to say, for example:
I was only a child when I threw the stone
and the stone was a white cloud
and the cloud was not a storm.
It came to be known that he was a killer,
or that he sold stray organs,
or else.
He got a few years and good behavior
(she can’t believe it, but he gets out much earlier)
with the pieces lined up on the board.
And then the pawn becomes a horse: a leap creating innocence,
the pieces unleashed in the air, then falling up
in an accelerated motion, as is appropriate for lightness.
He was caught again and the case is crawling
through the courts and the cigarettes in the courtyard.
Except for the particulars, isn’t it what we all do?
If not, why am I too crawling
between what I was and what I’ll be? You take the queen
and all that I am (she laughs undone)
throws my face to the chess-board ground.
And still I struggle with my mouth to taste the earth.
Any inclination of my body
is just a compass in a blind man’s eyes.