My Last Seattle Poem
(The Beginning of Landscape)
by David Sklar

September 1, 2009

Morning is like a foreign country:
no one I know is there.

6:40 a.m.
a Seattle Metro bus
runs cross country in the night.
I lie on one of the front seats,
curled up like a baby and thinking:
"She set me up to feel this way."

assorted chicken parts
in a bucket beside my head:
I pick up a leg and begin to gnaw.

Sometimes in dreams and Japanese paintings
there's places the scroll is blank.
The foreground is there.
The background is there.
Whatever's between them is not.

I'm at the back of the bus
staring out the rear window and standing
with a chicken bone in my hand.

I construct for myself a silence
from shadows of trees sliding past.

A man who, having lost his teeth,
now barks like a yorkshire terrier
boards the bus in front,
yaps something.
the driver points back here.

He comes to me and says
(barking doubletime) something about
the money I owe him for 
the chicken leg I took.

Sometimes in Seattle
you can look down at the freeway
or up to see the peak of Mount Rainier,
but between them
the base of the mountain
is hidden behind the sky

(like a foreign country:
no one I know is there).

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