Report of a Visit to the Island
The dream was the island, the island dreamed,
gathered the stalks, infinite horses, yawing
of the line
that draws its muscle, ligaments,
all the people there, the furnishing
between the legs of the compass,
all the food they ate behind seven
concentric walls. I asked,
“Why has the world not known about this place?”
They said, “This has always been the world.”
A turtle with four heads, eight eyes, and sixteen radial feet—
all the terraces, platforms, atriums, arbors
proceeding into a background that echoes softly imploding lights
step after step, garden after garden.
I couldn’t tell if my hosts were just recorded voices
or people long as honey. All the people,
the music, their kind of dying.
I asked them to explain
the condition of their founding.
They said, “Time is a looping tape. What you see is
how it was. We are the result of that.”
When I was asleep, they swaddled me,
took me through the city gate, and turned
me toward the shore, citing a crime
I did not understand.
It was easy to vanish back then,
easy to let your bed drift in the ocean,
let your pillow bake in the sun.