Village Of Pulleys And Locomotion

By Rachel Galvin

I trail my suitcase along the platform,
the weight of the air’s mechanism
at the small of my back. In the old country

a man would arrive from afar,
give each child a whistle, and parade them
through the village, whistling.

What is this fury of forms, boarding trains,
handing out whistles to children?
Dear spigot, dear filtering film of rubber,

if this world is the only world,
Anaximander will go on shaking his sieve,
persistently sifting with an ear to the ignition—

striker of matches, your scent of cloves, your fire
rides the circumference and a vortex gyrates at the center.
There is the vermiform signature: you may eat

of this tree. Now the glorious propinquity, now
the rupture. A village elder goes on debating
with his god. Who can tell if he receives a reply?

In the old stories, if you whistled,
the light would come to you
out of curiosity.