Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rebecca Wee / The Philosopher

The Philosopher
by Rebecca Wee 

A man rides a bicycle into town. He's forgotten his clothes,
or maybe this is what he means to do.
He rides carefully into the burning town.Apartments of old stone list, iron balconies, awnings,
the window-grates blacken with heat. He rides by.
His lip perspires, his eyes intent.
In the hills behind him there is a glow that is not the burning.
The Acropolis maybe. The Dome of the Rock.
The man has a book under his arm. The pages are gilt-edged, the title
has worn away. He has a shoulder-wound also, an old crescent scar.
Now his chest sweats, now his abdomen.
He is more agile than laughter.
The road turns. A black sedan rounds the comer
behind him. They are leaving town or they're trailing him.
Either way it's too late.
The man is not cold without clothes. He sees whole worlds
wherever he looks, and this keeps him busy.
Maps and globes and civilizations not on fire.
Now when he stops and considers the spokes, the bicycle tires,
he sees ashes, nails, explosions of glass.He does not believe in this. He believes in something else.

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