checkmate

we    are broken down, bit by bit, spiritually and
physically, we
leak away by the minute, the hour, the week, the
month, the year, we
leak away
in cafes, backyards, stadiums, Capitols, in
parlors of chance, in movie houses, at churches,
at clambakes
we dissolve
we dissolve while
putting on our shoes while
petting the cat, while
turning out the light
we dissolve while
clipping our toenails we dissolve from substance to
shadow
clip clip clip ow clip clip
we dissolve and leak away
to bad music or in
silence
through letter and book and stage, through the climates
and the wars
on and off of tv
screens
the history book is closing between the shoebrush and the
high-heeled shoe, between the olive seed and the dirty
washrag, between the lost key and the exposed film, between the
eyebrow hair and the dinsome scream of the magnolia, the history
book is closing.