Withholding (poem)

Oil painting of couple against red landscape

 

 

Withholding

 

What is the act of picturing, given in imperative

What is useless while pitiless while infectious

Or the opposite of good

What is the consequence of forked currents and

stoppered things uncapped

What is the doghead to the loud man’s fingersnap

What is the faith that errand runners get their tips

What errand runners seeming to have laid their prints

In fossilized depressions rites of a commonplace bent

What roaring, jawing, neck-worrying, but shining, ringing

Space-dominating, figure gains the adoring eye

What office, being held confers a means of making

Questioning a crime

What is the leaky sack of borrowed time

Swung careless shedding Things to Do Together

What is beyond excuse a case of poor prioritizing

What is a case beyond excuse of poverty in listening

Of scavenger hunting in neighbors’ houses envying

Tags unclipped from middle-class possessions

What is the patient teacher of the slowest learner

What currency in flowering reduplication

Floats every boat and never cheapens

What parting of fingers squeezing dimes what stress

The argument is never yours to win

What, again the sack, the mind unshelved and dusted off

Spoken, prepared at least for speaking, the long promised

Coming of age story for elderly juniors not yet grown

What is the merry hornet’s nest prodding of the otherwise

Disabled as to right-things-being-done

What shame if the one in command

Is boringly expected to give orders

The Death List shared with charity workers

What is this shrugging accidents will happen

What needing what is wanted now and other people

Are not me and I get nothing from a book of fetishes

What is the defendant’s plea

Only countersuits and fresh venues

 

 


Withholding

Stylized photo of woman with closed-smileMilieu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2019, Stephanie Foster)

 

 

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