Faded earth-toned photograph
at 45 RPMs preserves the speed of the roll-away
Davenport and infant me balanced on your knees
the speed of Electric Light no different than any other
light an infant or rather an Anna
an Anna Karenina or both, balanced on curled-up knees.
“You are someone,” said or thought
at the last moment. “You exist.” If only
to return the favor. My life at the speed of
avoiding entropy. To live a little more for
Spend not one moment in vain
bored scratching corduroy to the rhythm of
like a washboard.
Who left the bear at the laundromat.
The bear whose overalls were mended.
Who was resurrected. on curled-up knees
The bear whose book was balanced. The girl
who learned cursive from the “This book belongs to.”
An inheritance of shelves.
To say, “You were someone,” iterative,
incantatory. It is an action. It makes.
Even imagined. It makes us safe. A child
at the knee and “Suffer them.” To bear
the speed of time as one who stays
as if you left to force a life to live.