I do not know the whole allegory from start to finish—
at most a white maculation, vertebrae, chasm, & clatter.
At times, I refuse to admit that I harbor designs
and disavow that I can go a day without summit
or cincture. Perhaps we diminish the paradoxical
wound of the woods now felled & the owl
that would have been, in the conditional perfect,
but a word in an indicant chain—a tense I will
have had to change while the trees unleave.
How we could undo if he had not given chase
to a pair of hares and cleaved in two— what
we do not remember regresses through him.
We do not miss a myth, do not scavenge
for wit. We glean from the vixen
while she falls always from the cliffs,
we fix influence only by swallowing it whole—
its foxhole, its fable, its cognate for pebble.
“Game With Failed Absolute” from Dark Traffic by Joan Naviyuk Kane, © 2021. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.