Peter Leight




This Isn’t the End,

not right now, sometimes you think I have to go when you’re just tired of being here, as if you’re wearing one of those Halloween masks that isn’t even scary because of the absence of narrative possibly. It’s not tiring, I’m not saying we don’t need to rest—we’re only pausing for as long as it takes get started, as when the end of a story isn’t the end of what the story is about. I often think we’re looking for something somebody else has at the same time we have what somebody else is looking for. If there’s a seam where it pulls apart there’s a seam where it comes together.  Personally I’m trying to be an and person rather than an or person—it’s time for something else, time to keep going, the way you move from one painting to another in a museum, each helping you look at the next one. I’m not even sure if it’s better to disperse, is it better to split up? It’s not boring, not right now, like a story you add onto until it isn’t the same story anymore, it doesn’t matter how long it lasts—there’s no need to make up your mind. When you tell yourself it’s time you don’t mean the last time, there’s something you haven’t gotten around to or something you’re in the middle of, as on the mezzanine, in the space between the floors, a place that belongs to you because it’s no one else’s.


Report from the Home Front

Today I’m putting some things away in order to get them out of the way,

tidying,

cleaning up,

things like that,

putting things in boxes and taking things out of boxes,

it’s true we often put things where we think they belong and then try to figure out what they’re there for,

it doesn’t change anything. 

The tea is green,

the toast is black,

I’m adding some Naked Pea to my smoothie,

there are often leftovers, one idea is to do something with them,

to use them for something.

Sometimes I sit at my desk,

making notes in the margin,

although I hardly ever return to them,

I actually use my desk for putting things on and also for looking across when I’m sitting at my desk,

I know it predates me,

for this reason it has a legitimate grievance, like a pet that is more loving than a person. 

I’m wiping my hands with whipped white foam from the dispenser in order to clean up after myself,

tidying,

putting things away,

moving around but it’s mostly on the screen—

moving closer to the screen

in order to be closer to what’s on the screen,

of course there are things you don’t see from where you are,

it doesn’t matter where you are.

I’m using the possessive as much as possible,

practicing for when I need it.

Holding my neck in my hands like a form of capture—

not reaching for anything,

not unless I need something,

I think it is better to keep your hands near you because there are things you’re going to need them for,

as when there are decorations, and someone has to put them up,

and you’re someone. 

Somebody has to put them away.

I often turn on the TV to see what I’m watching,

moving closer to the screen,

as if there’s something I don’t see.

And the dust kitties,

I’m going to take care of them

as soon as I have a chance—

I think I’m hopeful but that’s about it.



Peter Leight’s poems have appeared in Paris Review, AGNI, FIELD, Beloit Poetry Review, Raritan, Matter, and other magazines.









                                    

 

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