Etcetera - Poem by Brian Wake
We graze for hours through the densely structured arguments
about what is and what is not, the genesis of patterns framed
and hung for all to see. But we are prisoners.
Have taken for granted that a fundamental mark
of our distinction is the time somebody takes to understand
that we are not the cut-out clouds they thought, constrained
by all their own subjective contours, not mere inkblots
or the accidental shape of cattle, chiaroscuro cows abstracted
into analogues of what a glance reveals, but prisoners.
Some days we are reduced to inference, can only dream
the great stampede, of thundering through the landscapes
room by room, can only hope that there will be someone
to see us more than mere etceteras.
And in the evening, when everyone has gone,
when the walls we hang upon are being washed and hoofprints
scrubbed out of the polished floors, a portrait of a woman comes
with fists of grass. Now eat, she says. We do. Now, carrying a glass
of painted raindrops, drink. We drink.
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