Jewish poem

My body touches itself at all times

Becoming aware of that inescapable being here

That kaleidoscopes the world

Down to each keyframe

Of a gesture slowly picked through

By the brain I carry

Like the blackening blue draggling

Wallet I was given for my Bat Mitzvah

And haven’t been able to get rid of

For over a decade

I lost it on the train

And it was found

By some Australian tourists

I had to get it back from their earnest hotel

Above a steakhouse that was sinister

From inside the street’s rain

I lost it again while cramping at Walgreens

And it was found

By a lady who found me

Living on her block

Thanks to my conspicuous last name

It will always be found

I tried to buy a wallet less

Oily-looking and awkward

In the way it could be held

(Typically stroked

With one finger like a reptile

I need to check on in my pocket

Every two minutes

It has a mind of its own

And represents to me never-ending

Disappointment with the state

Of affairs) and I tried to be careful

But immediately dislocated the new wallet

While drinking a cup of borscht

It’s now probably pressing up against someone’s leg

Through the spackled cotton guts of a pocket

I hope it is getting used

And is not just staring

At the bottom of another piece

Of pointless material for all eternity

In a silent pile up

In a hulking landfill

I stared at my smug old wallet

I filled its wide crumby mouth

With fresh little rectangles

I felt funny and doomed

And I have carried it obediently since then


Everything is every love

Of mirrors

Of letters

The other person

The definitive

Hearing of a song

While not looking at

A neck

I’m sure I remember


My taking turned inward

But then came a salve

Like me

Deemed unholy

I bore myself

Like that

If earnest

I can trap it

And wonder

When I hope you do

Em Seely-Katz has a book Yellowing (Lost Alphabet) available now. Recently, they've been writing an adversarial fashion blog called Human Repeller.
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