"No Black Scorpion is Falling Upon This Table" by Aaron Fagan

Aaron Fagan

Aaron Fagan

Aaron Fagan was born in Rochester, New York, in 1973. He was educated at Hampshire College and Syracuse University, and he is the author of two poetry collections Garage (Salt Publishing, 2007) and Echo Train forthcoming from Salt in spring 2010. Recent work has appeared, or is due to appear, in The American Poetry Review, Tuesday: An Art Project, Stand and The Yale Review.

No Black Scorpion is Falling Upon This Table

There is only everything.
Each morning I ask if it's the same
At different times and if it's time
To go. Empty the self of self.

Such are the perverse incentives
Of cognitive dissonance. There
She is, silent in a dream I keep
Having where she does this
Elaborate dance number
With a batch of tuxedoed men.

It goes on for hours. Days pass.
I do what I can to not be a danger
To myself and other strangers.
Watch as the world and everything
You love to hate falls away. Way up
High in the sky, no black scorpion

Is falling upon this table. A month
Passes. Like the legal status of a snail,
Number is the ruler of all forms.
I try to teach my children there are
Different kinds of infinity.
Ideas, language, and, of course,

Cogito ergo sum don't make sense
Anymore. Who would have thought
We could make it rich just for liking things.
It's the aspect I fail to consider that rules me.
Spacetime is only very slightly curved,
Except near a black hole. So in practice

You would be swimming for billions
Of years before you moved a millimeter.
I feel and imagine without time, but
Damned myself to a language that demands
I express it there. Backscattered light created
A halo around the shadow of the photographer.

We stand out in the crowd, grabbing
At straws to get it done. The witless
Luck of the periphery. We or I
(Should I feel compelled to say “I”)
Bend down on one knee and say,
“Same here, same here. I dream only

Of faceless people, too.” And all the
Monkeys are healthy now and do not
Glow under normal light. I dropped
My phone in the river today, but
At least I was at the river. Deep within
The idea of good and evil, there is

A magnetism that cancels us out.
When the soul draws near that void,
Life is too empty to talk about.