Thursday, January 6, 2022

The Tourists of Nonnarrative Surprise

Sequence isn’t story.
It’s more as well as less
Surprising. Actual

Sequence by the wayside
Has gone something like this—
It’s a bright afternoon

On the snowy mesa,
Mountains in the background.
Mule deer and wild turkeys

Pass by at intervals.
When a car pulls over,
And three people get out—

Two men, one woman,
All with cameras, all
Young adults—no surprise,

They start taking selfies.
But then the men drop trow’
For one pic; the woman

Yanks up her blouse. Before
They get back in the car,
They’ve taken a series

Of pictures of bellies,
Bums, boobs, and bared crotches.
Satisfied, they drive on.

The road remains empty
For ten minutes or so.
The next car also parks.

One man and two women,
All with cameras, all
Young adults, clamber out.

They start taking selfies.
The women wear hijabs.
The man keeps his coat on.

They pose in the exact spots
As the bare-assed trio
And with the same backdrop.

Another ten minutes
After that grouping’s gone,
A pickup truck pulls up,

And out pile a woman,
Two young men in ball caps,
And two slobbery dogs.

The dogs run off to play.
The three people, who all
Have cameras in hand,

Start to take their selfies,
Posing in the same spots,
As the previous folks,

And with the same backdrop.
Then they call back their dogs
And drive off in their truck.

Oh, if you only knew,
Any of you, the ghosts
In your air, your surprise.

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