Bruce Bond Shell

Water knows. If you pour a man
into a chair, he becomes the chair
for some smaller man, or chair, his shape

the shape of what he's in and so is not.
You could easily fall asleep in these arms,
a star inside the waters where you drown.

There is always tomorrow, says the turtle,
who closes her eyes like the part in the dream
that no longer dreams, when all goes dark.

A turtle knows. It takes a little distance
to be a river, a little give, to sleep
the sleep of the man anxious for his

blood work, who drifts off in spite of all.
This is what it is to be both dweller
and the dwelling. When I talk to others

who count down the minutes, I am always
talking to some comrade from afar.
Myself, for one, just one among many

who step away from me into the heartbreak.
We know a turtle suffers, because who doesn't,
in spite of armor, in light of it, the living

stone. Inside a river you find a river.
Inside a turtle, well, please don't. And deep
inside the looking glass, a shattering of birds.

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