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POETRY ‘1 a S3 r ax. After Immortality What Comes Next nfl kris An escape route’s Woven into the left-hand border of a rug. Another one’s glasses are fogging over a bowl Of chicken with barley soup, one’s beating The living daylights out of an orange punching Bag, one’s sitting at his desk dreaming up more Escape routes, another’s just a replica, one’s A replica also, one’s a copy of a replica, and Quite a few hide inside a box of salt, fire Is an escape route, lightning is, candle flames, Snow can be, smoke is, inside pockets sometimes, Now and then getting somewhere on time is, winds Are, once lather down a horse’s neck was and That could be again, poppy seeds have been, A smell of pencil-shavings in an empty room is, Heat exchanges can be, mirrors maybe, maybe not, Seeds are when scattered by birds or carried in An animal’s fur, ice can be, a pistol’s magazine Thinks it is, tunnels should be but rarely are, The Hall of Columns isn’t, altimeters yes, Hay doors yes, backdoors, low beams, river roads, Those areas on a face in and around its temples And its eyes, skin that moves with a mind of its Own, oxygen and a good bed yes, exits aren’t, Side doors are, missile silos have been, secrets May or may not be, some music is, a handshake Is so complicated, a salute, a password, in due Course is an escape hatch, the language of the Court, variegated logic of lawyers, uniforms, Time frames, a month of Sundays or its equiValent, no where to hide, town asleep, safe place. ifintigIS3 VO Everyday Concerns The water’s coated with ripples, It’s planted and filled with them. I can feel them. How can I get to the border I haven’t found any dryads yet. Everywhere in here is ever so dark. Save them, the breadcrumbs Can be used for demitones. The neurons need to be turned down Some before a stampede erupts, please. I can’t see around the corner There’s a staircase there, I don’t know where it goes. What do you do before resurrecting You go to the door. I can’t carry anymore clothes. The shoes are too heavy. Which door? Now the sort of wind that’s come From around the world swings a window open. Am I supposed to close it I don’t know where chair legs remembered. After a while streams of light & cobwebs Blended into one another, for the better. A sweet little whiptailed scorpion beckoned. It threw a crisp salute my way. It wasn’t clear whether it was coming or going. Which door? Which door? Darn Wier Dara Wier’s new book is Hat on a Pond Voyages in English appeared in 2001 from Carnegie-Mellon University Press. Her first book, Blood, Hook & Eye, was published by the University of Texas Press. A native of New Orleans, she lived and worked in. Austin in the ’80s, and these days lives and works in Amherst where she teaches in the program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts. Naomi Shihab Nye 1118/02 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21