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.