Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Friday, June 10, 2016

Plausible

Wind so hard the lake-surface bristles, and because the word
Saturday appears above a box representing a date, the person,
categorized as a man, is not somewhere else but here, for
even in so called off hours everyone is regulated. He's

hunched inside a coat, hearing wind so hard it whistles
through reed stalks and he notes he can't distinguish
between a vaguely recalled sadness and this day's
specific one, as if all pumice-gray clouds were one smear

across one sky he's lived under, wind so hard his ears
ache, and he knows eventually he'll do something called
"the sensible thing," and his legs will move him toward
something called a "house," but he like standing in muck

near the whipped up lake because standing here seems
like the one thing that hasn't been arbitrarily labeled,
wind so hard now his nose runs, and he mutters,
"whatever you say," which encapsulates what he's felt

like saying to everything from STOP-signs to tweets
to good-mornings to cityscapes and his own name
and all the names for things, including life--life?
Whatever you say, wind so hard it blows a bird

sideways and the man's chilled deep and grateful
for that and walks buffeted back toward sensible
things, wind so hard it's almost but not quite
made life plausible today.


hans ostrom 2016
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