Above the pond, a duck;
below, a carp.
Between them, the sky.
A dozen empty traps,
teeth full of dust;
my guests have taken their leave.
The elephant tree
is all hair and bones,
but still he blocks out
half the sky.
If you require a certain pen to write.
If you have been intimidated by a raccoon.
If you ever made an aesthetic modification to your car which earned you a ticket.
If you have a “thing” for women in sweat pants.
If you count your time surfing the ‘net as “reading”.
If, after watching the movie PI, you spend unusual amounts of time staring at leaves/smoke/the sun.
If you weep for the future.
If you feel the guilt of ancestry.
If you have ever claimed to be “A descendant of…”
If, in a fit of youthful ignorance, you once made a “fuzzy navel” out of peach Schnapps and orange Tang.
If you drank more than one.
If you have ever given/received bleeding rug-burns during sex.
If you kill the fish you don’t keep.
If you feel superior at inappropriate times.
If you really think food can be decadent.
If you have ever looked up at a tall building, caught a reflection of the clear sky in a window, and momentarily thought that the building had not finished rendering.
If you have seen a sundog.
If you have ridden a cow.
If you have ever laughed yourself awake.
If you have ever changed religions for less than a day.
If it left you feeling unfulfilled.
If you know the taste of a spear.
If you think it is too loud right now.
If you still don’t think you will ever need to know “that”.
If you have been hospitalized by a paper cut.
If you think the word “organic” is often misused.
If you think silence is awkward.
If you once considered returning to school because of something you saw in a movie.
If you think the motions are running through you.
If you have ever bullied someone with your knowledge of their religion.
If you have ever, out of fear of others reading it, censored yourself in your private journal/diary, and then gone back a few days later and filled in the missing parts, only to have someone confront you about what you have written and accuse you, among other things, of being “wishy-washy”.
(with a nod to Michael Ondaatje )