by Gord Sellar

Life in twenty seconds of synapse
flares and blooms in a grocery store lineup
because a name, a syllable,
because a species of unseen laughter,
of countenance, it makes you wonder
at what it was, your imagination’s own
affair; and don’t start seeing it until
the photographs are almost thoroughly
dismantled: that’s when you finally see
the way things could maybe change
in the length of time it takes to sneeze
and elicit a strangers’ blessing — the space
of a half-breath it takes for you to change
your mind about the cheese, and turn away
in search of something harder, less gratuitous —
or for the world to fall apart around you,
to be rebuilt again in another form,
the blocks beneath your feet grinding
at the joints, their places tectonic,
just when you thought you’d reconciled yourself.

— Jeonju, South Korea, Jan. 2005

February 10, 2012

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