Runs away gets lost

︎︎︎ Marie López

︎ October 27, 2022

I won't ask you to define your terms.
Stars have been oddly visible the last couple of days,
to which I respond: “But today it’s overcast.”
Yes. Walking home, I see a small animal–beautiful
in the snow. He’s eating a ketchup packet.
He lets me get close until he runs away, gets lost.
It’s my loss, not his, I said to no one.
Pass the smoke shop where the clerk said he liked my eye. Which one?
I suppose the evening was predictably interconnected, as it tends
to try to show me: “Marie, one just might understand
what it means to be transitory in light
of eternity,” not asked to define terms, further
undefined by the small animal. Losing variables in the dark
sounds a lot like losing marbles, a phone call I'll never receive.

I can’t help but think of the animal now. The loss being mine
not his as he glides away from definition;
So, I compose a haiku for the future:
                                    Walking home
                                    Small animal eating a ketchup packet
                                    Phone call I’ll never receive
Too many syllables. I’m home now without the definition of terms,
                                                               the dark variable constant—
very pleasant not to be asked first, ever,
& the light doesn’t ring–predictably,
undefined, walking
& it glides.

Marie López works as an archivist at an art gallery and as a researcher for an architectural historian. She is based in Brooklyn, New York.

Also by Marie: What did I know about swimming