The Opposite


To be the opposite of clever
is wise. Of a cleaver
is a feather. To be a father
is to dote on daughters
and to date at one point
or another mothers. What matters
is the stopping wind, that the ocean
sits in place. The maker stoops
to wind the clock which
stopped in shock, whose
proud prayer sped
the wanted thing, humanity,
warped tongs in a junk shop
that don’t pick a thing up
but are made of a metal
more precious than use.
One day a sea
we can’t see from here
will buoy them
to an opposite shore
where the opposite of me
who shares my form
will use them to perform a chore
we don’t yet see as incomplete.
Till then, we’ll wring our hands
in shame, the same we used
to claw from our den,
to crawl out of Eden.

Jessica Laser is the author of Planet Drill (Futurepoem Books, 2022) and Sergei Kuzmich from All Sides (Letter Machine Editions, 2019).