When there is not enough
watch-checking in the room
to keep anyone awake. Interest
has already been lost, but the principle
is still there and we can live by it,
stand behind it while he calls us
into the office, phones ringing
all the while.
The bank looks insurmountable.
Too steep for my tastes,
the safe so far away,
at least to this point.
We gesture toward the signs of poverty
that surround us and the directions,
more like orders than up or down,
or how to climb and fold
a ladder, in that their sequence,
beginning with now [understood]
is implicit and unnumbered, like feet.
So we go hiking.
Take this and leave no trace,
just something for the next
houseguest to shelter as their own,
as their way of saying,
there is not enough
to go around.
There is always one thing to remember: writers are always selling somebody out.
-- Joan Didion, "Slouching Towards Bethlehem"
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