[For all the world, for all the noise]

Photograph by Eugène Atget. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For all the world, for all the noise, just close your eyes. Then open them.

I see a sunshine & a wind. Okay, I see the grassy plaza, two cement paths in cruciform, I see the
yellow siding of our trailer house, the lilac’s cones, I see a wedge of early evening stars, of students
coming down the courtyard stairs, of time layered over time.

Because being’s only in the body, right? And time is always time, and place is always and only place.

But look, mom, I’m right outside. I’m right outside the front curtains, if you part them, I’ll be here.
I’m out here in the roller blades you bought me, in my favorite button-down shirt, a leather bag, I
just shaved this morning because time ran out, I couldn’t shower! Look: a bolt of silver running
through my hair.

Mom, if you pull apart the wings of time, and look.

My being’s in my body, yes, but where else? Not only in this upward drafting central air, or the
cooling fan’s soft whine, or the plaza’s wind, down Dandelion Drive, across my boyish cheeks. Not
only in my shoulder ache from too much slouching at this keyboard.

And what if being’s in the body only? My body snakes across nearly forty years now, and I’m alive in
all of it, in the flutter of hope that she’ll open up the curtains— I’m out here in my roller blades, if
she looks right now.

Justin Rigamonti's work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, The Burnside Review, and The Cortland Review. He teaches college writing courses in Portland, Oregon, and co-directs a literary non-profit called Poetry Press Week.
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