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 maquette
when I hadn’t gotten the posture right,
rolling limbs, legs, and head under my palm
into one oblong dough, starting over.
Being a student of engineering
my reaction in those first half seconds
of fecundity was unchecked panic,
a nervous finger perched on the button
threatening to solve it, a feeling so
intimate the way it precedes intellect,
unnerving and desperately phlegmatic.
Thank god the teacher explained that Simic
Probably suffered from PTSD.
Feeling absolute again, I reclined.
The empty field was just some battlefield.
The apple was sin, the scarecrow must’ve been…