Driving Eye

Caught in a slip of particulars,
say, between the dirt road
and the brand-new
                                                       Seven-Eleven, a bucket
                                                       of lotus, three shades of red
                                                       in the mudbank giving way to
workers, faces hidden
behind kerchiefs, binding
the copper tines of another
                                                      half-constructed building,
                                                      this fretwork, that rooftop’s
progress up and up, the eye riding
a motor’s rev, coming to
a woman who leans
                                                      over the seventh story’s edge
                                                      for the pulley rope’s
                                                      basket of rice or rubber mallets,

then a sweep down into
cattle now, their beige skin
over bones, the look of loose tents,
                                                      or taking in a bronze
                                                      Buddha, hands folded over the First
National Melting Company,
the red gate, black gate,
red, retina arriving
                                                      at a man throwing straw
                                                      clumps to earth so the seeds
                                                      don’t wash away,
and the light behind him washing
                                                      and this desire, a gaze
                                                      shot along the border which is
shaped like a question mark,
cramped with hotels, pink neon
                                                      grammars blinking
                                                      Alpha, Alpha, Alpha Is
The Bank For You And Your
Needs, another quick catch,
                                                      the glance stippled
                                                      with disappearances,
a girl who lifts her skirt
to bathe near the bus stop,
                                                      a fire
                                                      in the field of bulldozers,
an eye trying to fix itself
as the vehicle turns,
                                                      the mind from
                                                      nascent to nation,
drifting in instances, a grit
in wind worrying
the surface, the facts,
                                                      out to finger the invisible
                                                      gap we would inhabit, pulsing always
                                                      in between.
Pimone Triplett, "Driving Eye" from Ruining the Picture. Copyright © 1998 by Pimone Triplett. Reprinted by permission of TriQuarterly Books.
Source: Ruining the Picture (TriQuarterly Books, 1998)
More Poems by Pimone Triplett