House for Sale
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House for Sale

The bed of old Wallace Stevens is less than you’d imagine:Narrow, penitent, predictor of the grand conversion

Unproven. Here he added his own disorderTo current disaster, ting-tang tossing

Through an ever-darkening night,Demarcating lines into twos or threes as if

That alone could provide some semblanceOf an order imagined if not actual. But

Here it is: the object itselfThat seems too short as well as too narrow

To have ever contained such girth and heightEven if by then slackened with age and the despair

That partners it. In the vacant and ordinaryRoom there remains nothing of the occupant,

Not even this cot-like bed, not even a translucentGhost: one alone, warehoused some

Twenty miles south; the latterUp late, up still, wandering in the nearby

Park, pacing off those lines, pacingForth the structure of ideas as the structure of things.

Just how many rivers are there in this world?And how puny the number of names we know. [End Page 119]

Dennis Barone
West Hartford, Connecticut
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