tremendum

what happens

a kid searches for signs

the central facts seem spooky

you suspect some indefinably strange cloaked center to it

unfriendly

the hunch is that all this grandness is by its nature

momentous and somehow terrible 

an arc of the retrograde variety

thrumming electrified flesh

reduces to a spotty beige bag

filled with articulated goo

in the last days

the cranial vault houses an increasingly assertive id

discomfiting many

 

but these are remote fabulist phenomena

unnamed 

kids don't fear them

there is a vague wonder

dread

nothing as concrete as fear

Grand Inevitables are in evidence

we drop ants into hot tar and note with interest

that they don't seem alarmed

we skin our knees

denied the gift of invective

we scream like maddened banshees

why this pain

we don't know we are young and whole

our faculties fastened together with seamless joinery

and a sprayed fragrant patina of skin

so form-fitting it seems impossible

it will ever become the rubberized paper we see

on the old and mustachioed

we move somnolently about in the sun and rain

violable and happy

without knowing we are happy

we don't know we are violable

we're incautious

gun goes off and a kid is taken away from the world

or a car takes you

or maybe a dog

or it could be an asteroid or some such

you there

you step out onto the street

in front of your high school

a passing van drags you 60 feet 

unto your death

frequently the pattern comes clear

during 3rd grade recess 

Betty or Amber or Lisa bails off the swing

a high thrilling arc

her arms windmilling through the blue

dreamy half-speed

while you watch the girl you secretly adore

your half-smiling mouth agape

the little bench dances back on its chains

and smashes your teeth

at six I understood

whole of the flat earth under my Keds

is actually a round rock

resting on nothing

so enormous that at any given point of contact

it seems as flat as a table

it's not flat and at rest

it's round and adrift

adrift

floating rock

endless field of other suspended rocks

unspeakably gigantic

drifting around like debris

only a floating rock

our whole 'World'

1966. Period.

I laid me down on the lawn

in our sunny side yard

legs shaking

vertiginous panic

dug my fingers into the sod

for all the good it did