Like a violin
wishing it were a piano. Like a cirrus cloud
afraid of heights.
Like a Nobel scientist
unsure of the science. Like a barn with hay-fever.
Like a lake afraid of being too deep. Like a song
with a headache.
Like an electrified fence
wanting more than anything to be touched.
Like loose gravel dreaming of something more concrete.
Like a pair of glasses
splitting up. Like a leaf
turning over a new one of itself. Like a swarm of bees
desiring it were something else, like perhaps
a swarm of butterflies.
Like a world in which
all of this could happen, at least in the body of a poem,
as if a poem could be the magical stage
for all this coming true,
like in a dream I once had
where everyone was within my dream, & we all dreamt
our private fantasies, all our wished-for metaphors
coming true, & all the ones
we were afraid of
coming to fruition, too, though the world went on
like a train devoid of wheels or a kite without a tail
or a dog bereft of its bark
or a boat lacking a deck,
& the poem continued like a map stripped of its borders
or a sky sucked of its air, metaphors penning themselves
as if they were
eagles inventing flight
or fish swimming the sea into existence;
& the sun shone itself into a new day, like a new word
making a baby smile,
or like the babbled words
a baby blurts out but no one understands, not yet.
Once I lived a life in miniature,
my body the size of a shot glass,
the size of peas.
Maybe I wasn’t quite proportional; maybe my feet
were too big for my knees. My voice
was kept at a whisper
no matter how loudly I screamed,
& my stomach got full once my food grazed my mouth.
My friends were mice accompanying me for my cheese,
& my parents
were perennially disappointed
with the diminutive offspring I’d turned out to be.
But I was a giant among beetles & a god to the ants;
I was accomplished
as a burglar
by slipping through the cracks. I kept things in perspective
through the use of my magnifying glass; & in the darkest,
most moonless nights,
I felt as small
& insignificant as anyone a thousand times my size.