A Certain
Knowledge

for Jane King

Sometimes there is
a sound of
ice breaking, or a
harsher crash as the barriers are
broken down, one by one.

We either escape the shards
or we become like them,
and there is a little of us
in every fragment,
some here and some there.

Broken flesh in the alleys
around us, the sea,
the rented rooms,
bathtubs, subways. We discover
them suddenly at odd hours.

Pieces, too many to
gather or recollect.
We are adaptable and create
substance where there is none,
like the amputee who feels his missing feet.