People are always waving their hands in bed and going if it is your will. Look at me. What do I know. Do you like my tie? I love it. This makes me happy. It’s just happenstance that I wound up in this room and you are over there talking to god. It’s a total accident that I’m him. Don’t you remember when we both worked in Filene’s Basement in 1968? Everyone thought we looked alike. We didn’t see it but everyone else did. What nobody saw was that I’m god and you’re not. All of you. My father owned the store. That’s why I was working in the cashier’s office behind the cage and you sold half-sizes. I wasn’t going to do that. You were. It was clear that both of us did something else. You were from Arlington and would be a poet. I invented the stars. People will be wondering for ages how I did it. It was very easy: a little light, a little dark. I’m not a deep man. Depth would be problematic in this kind of job. I didn’t build the buildings, you guys did that and also you choose who you love, I didn’t send you anyone. That would be too much for me, doling out parakeets and heartbreaks. That tree in front of you right now sending its spindly shadow across the park grew during a number of human lifetimes — I did not send the seeds or the wind. Every now and then, and I’m talking about aeons — someone wakes up and realizes I am someone they encountered early on, or maybe people just need a face to understand that of course you know me, we’ve met and certainly I understand that you lost your loft and are moving back to 3rd St. I’m in the same business as that freakazoid who’s throwing you out, well that’s maybe a little harsh — he’s moving you along, you’re not part of his story, both of you know it and something has to give. You need to live in a room with doors. That wall of brick and opaque glass is wrong. The trees are your home. But what I’m trying to tell you is that everyone is inside. Everyone needs a little couch, and a new tie and a familiar face. Even I need a place from which to hear the waving, pleading, millions of people who woke up today and began asking me if I wanted to take part in what was happening to them. Pigeons don’t talk. They stand on an iron bridge in front of that beautiful sky — then they bob and fly away. You start learning to decide.
Eileen Myles’ newest book is Inferno (a poet’s novel) from OR Books. Her website is www.eileenmyles.com. She lives in New York.