I tracked you in Rome this September where statues your contemporaries lack arms noses cocks. Casualties of time’s war on us or changes in taste. We share atoms with countless living and dead, missing marble limbs, but I pursue unclaimed meat, stray unincorporated matter moving through plumbing, open forms, atmospheres, malls, your anonymous grave.
Excluded, indifferent to the constant world, you made epic the bodies split from within, faces erupting from different species’ features, new lifeforms emerging in your darling bucolic anatomical theater, perverse as free verse. I’m as foreign to you as articulation in the entropy I inhabit, a barbaric language I can’t understand though I’m made its captive because I’m made of it—in elegy. I’m not pursuing you exactly but resemblance through subjectless tissue and muscle, expanding grim tradition to keep leopards happy lounging in mossy temples long after belief.
Excerpted from Metamorphoses by Evan Kennedy. Copyright © 2022. Reprinted with the permission of City Lights Books.