02 February 2006

Suzanne Buffam

[from Past Imperfect by Suzanne Buffam]


We’ve found a hospital. The sick are missing
limbs, eyes, buttons, pins, and have been welcomed
for today back to the game.

They wait all day to see the doctor,
propped against the mantelpiece, above
the tinderbox that has been turned

into a gurney for a child, overlooked
while we look for the clock. We are not
interested in plot. Our pleasure’s

in the furniture, a rearranging of the rooms
inside the head. The doctor waits
to see the lady with the nickname

appliquéd across the bodice of her spangled
fitted dress. He’ll wait all day.
No one decided this. We simply

know it as we did not know
before we opened it — before it
opened us. There is a room inside the room

inside the room we find by wanting
it, in which a single, unplugged lamp
stands in for light.

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