AT THE PUBLIC LIBRARY, SURROUNDED BY THE UNLIKELY IN MONTAUK, NY
I am being interrogated by all the things I do not believe in
like my dead aunts and uncles arriving at a party as if they are not dead.
I think the way interracial couples have sex is always complicated,
how we reenact histories in our beds, not all of them massacres,
but each of us has an addiction to certain scenes that perhaps
we saw in school textbooks, a art museum in Chicago, late night HBO.
The librarians downstairs are talking about Keanu Reeves and there are
finance guys who stopped in from the beach to charge their laptops and check
to see how the market is wavering a quarter point today. These people
make me so sad- like trembling weeds, as if the most precise insult
might kill them outright, but hey, even I am in the library to redeem myself.
Coming here is like going to confession, the forgiveness is smug which is almost
every kind of forgiveness, but you cannot redeem yourself if you groan too much.
Thoreau said that camels are the only animals that can "ruminate" while walking,
in a book dictated from his deathbed to his younger sister, Sophia. He said
that he always walks towards Oregon, not Europe, and that the compass of a nation
is built then on how to civilize hills going West, which is, I think,
also known as Manifest Destiny. Which is, I'm sure, also known as genocide.