t h e o d o r e    w o r o z b y t

 

Errata

Cesium

India




















Errata

The quietest mistake has crawled through the boards. The professor unfolds the cabinet clasps; he lifts up by the tail into the oystery kitchen light a field mouse, gray as the cornerstone of a cathedral and covered with the tiny marks of its own feces. Look at what you have done. What is your alibi? I have no explanation and he is disgusted. He gestures with his free hand, making clear the discovery of my Popish plot: bakers dozens, perhaps hundreds, of similar furred corpses lie stacked in vertical rows where I store my pots and pans. I offer a dove-tailed microscope box lined with foam but there is no instrument inside, only septic slide covers, a rusted tweezers, and a single prepared specimen scraped from my tongue and cheek and dried years ago. I produce a thornless flower to no avail. I begin to cough. Is it the nitre, I ask, staining the plaster walls? Is it the golden dust spilled from this quaking flower? But the only answer is a swelling in my throat, that and his bewildering glare.

next




















Cesium

The dogs are running under the open moon, a deathly joy in their nearly silent sweep across the grass, along the edges of the field, where pines lift against the clouds. The hour lays a platinum bar, like a hand across a forehead, over the measured dark. Ladybugs sleep in clusters and the vines climb colorblind through muscles flying in the slowed dew. If you do not know how to find me, this is where you will find me, the microscope in my outstretched hand. Worms become sphinxes, and if only it were a matter of jewels, of oiling the infinitesimal gears of dead men’s movements, then I might learn how time was never keeping, never. But I stand to clasp the flesh that is your flesh, and measure the distance to your eye. Dawn is nearing, and the smudge in the sky is rounded from soft metal, silvery gold, that explodes when touched by water. Every million years or so a second will be lost. When I dip my hand into the fountain, the dogs vanish into the woods and you are gone.

next




















India

 

Who knew the mother sauces would become water? That you could see fat flecks in the blood like snow in a crow’s eye? That the nautical clock would magnify under glass and grow greener than Argentina? I replaced the small letter I never sent to India with a jar of crystallized honey one autumn when the grapes bore. I clarified it in a bain marie. I need the same surgeon who put my crushed feet back together, his bags of golden plasma. I suppose burlap is fair material for the sacking of lucid sleep. What was concentrated is now thin. Turnips, parsnips, small onions, these are gone from the roasting pan. Peeled celery. French food in analogue. Edith Piaf on vinyl. These are curiosities I toast with my can of beer. Her name was a country, a black-eyed flower. What does it matter that I will die, dreaming the spice of her hair?

 

next

THEODORE WOROZBYT has received grants from the NEA, and the Georgia and Alabama Councils for the Arts. His poetry appears recently or is forthcoming in 42opus, American Poetry Journal, Crazyhorse, Faultline, Hotel Amerika, Image, Kulture Vulture, Mississippi Review Online, New England Review, National Poetry Review, North American Review, Passages North, The Southern Review and Verse Daily. His first full-length collection, The Dauber Wings, will be published in 2007.