Erica Funkhouser, “Day Work”


Alone. I love to be alone. Against
the numberless infinities. Or for
the re-creation of the little chores
that roof my world: embellished emptiness.

A round peg in a square hole will find
its four corners—within, without—and fill

them with its private tyrannies. Be still
and see if solitude will make you kind.

Contained. I love to be contained. The air,
a pair of trees that rise in unison,
the shade that lends my day abundant edge:
inventions, all. The other world’s a cage.
The body scatters and is never done.
Small teeth and claws await us everywhere.

From Earthly Funkhouser’s fifth collection of poems. This volume also includes “The Pianist Upstairs,” which appeared in The Atlantic, “Charles Street, Late November,” from the literary journal Sou’wester, and Imaginary Friends,” from AGNI. Earlier Funkhouser poems online include “Plane” and “The Evening of the Stillborn Calf” from Ploughshares.

15 March 2008 | poetry |