After hearing Simic for the first time
in an undergrad poetry survey
I was briefly unmade, the same way
in art class I’d break down the clay miniature
when I hadn’t got the posture right,
rolling limbs, legs, and head under my palm
into one oblong dough to start again.
Being a student of engineering
my response in those half half seconds
of fecundity was something like pre-panic,
a nervous finger perched on the button
of my brain threatening to solve it, a feeling
intimate in the way it precedes intellect,
tumorous and phlegmatic, the verge of crisis.
And thank God the teacher explained Simic
Probably suffered from PTSD.
Feeling absolute again, I reclined.
That empty field was probably some battlefield.
The apple was sin, the scarecrow must’ve been Jesus.