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PRESENT SIGNS ❋ Daniel Sebastian Baker

I have faith in my ability
To take time, but not in knowing
The measurements thereof. The red
Linoleum flooring seemed more

Apt to count the minutes, until

Your arrival declared itself. But I wasn’t
In the room any

Longer. The desk holds objects nearer
Than we’d like them to be:
Social security card, not mine. A reminder

Of our paid intrusion. You’d like

The way the owner dances, the clacking
Of ballet slippers. Don’t tell me what

We forgot to bring here. The logic of sense
Imposes itself on objects undeserving. They
Said this water was potable, but it’s

Neon green. Chemical technology

Is an understatement for alchemy; the fireplace
Here is an electric one, — means on and

O means off. Coded language protects our secrets:
You’re definitely — now, the
Way your cheeks flush against someone else’s

Spatial memory. I’m closer to you here but

My eyes are O when I try to speak. In this place,
Words are dead ends because we are literally

Surrounded by graves. Why would I take us to
A house in a cemetery? when you already spent
All week asking questions of the dead, your

Life boxed up, ostensibly at war with

A paternal past. “Sometimes the Stoics say
the signs are always present,

that they are the signs of present things.” Divination
Could lead us to grasp why we came here. But when did
We come here? I left on the train this morning,

But arrived yesterday evening and the

Bottle of wine was gone before I drank it. When you
Got here we were farther away. O — O — O —
Between on and off there must be a moment

Of choice.