Anything Can Happen to a Body Like a Brick

Barbara Einzig

Eduardo Basualdo


The hats spinning out of control
accelerate toward the letters of our


something is being spelled out

the mosaic contains
bits of grit and blood

the person of what we were getting
to know

has disappeared

and what we were getting to know
been condensed
into the atmosphere of a brick

those who are coupling are


while the glances of others are
restricted to falling accidentally

over a glasslike water
a waterlike glass

entrenched surface of a beloved
face now closed like a thing
that if pushed withdraws

the whitegloved hand of the


behind the velvet curtain

the jingling cup extended for spare change

We must calm and reassure ourselves

“I learned the language for you,”
he says, breaking his German
as he drinks tea with
the blond woman

firm gestures that disintegrate and
are best arrested at the shore of
old mistakes

the hand that opens

is not out asking

ceramic casts may be

fossilized emotion

that if eaten as a mineral


strengthens the teeth

that must now be held together
by gold rather than silver

which is too weak
too corruptible

we must strip our bodies of their


as if they were those of our children
and remember how the Pacific sandstone
felt against our hands

as we pulled ourselves up

over the cliffs of what
the present

We must calm and reassure ourselves

transform ourselves into a new
kind of small bird
that along with honey
forms the diet of shamans

tongues resembling needles
extended into stone flowers

the archaic weightless time
the elastic moment
the tectonic plate
the sliding definition
the hydraulic door
the faultless logic
the sadness of his eyes

We must calm and reassure ourselves





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