|ELEGY FOR IDLE CURIOSITY
by Lucia Perillo
|I used to ask aloud such things as: why is the moon round,
buffed only by the chamois cloth of space?
But now I hold my tongue, or else people start to tap
apparatus they’ve strapped to their hips
as if they were knights. They are knights,
assailed by the uncertain. When it stands to reason
that we must be somewhere on the map: the self
tends to be the only one not knowing where it is.
No more paddling the murk of pointless speculation,
wondering if the force that stirs the whirlpool
also winds the spider’s web. A person can’t just wobble
with her mouth open–it arouses
the surveillance. Instead we’re supposed to be
like traffic lights, vigilant in every season.
No more standing like a chanterelle, spewing out ten thousand spores,
penetrating the substrate, laying a fiber everywhere.
From Time Will Clean the Carcass Bones, Copper Canyon Press, 2016.