It is a warm winter mid-afternoon. We must understand what happened is happening. The colossus stands before us with its signature pre-emptivity. It glints. It illustrates. At my feet the shadow of the winter-dead bushes wave their windburnt stalks. Their leaves cast gem-cut ex- foliations on the patio-stone—bushfulls of shadow blossoming—& different-sized heads—& in them leaves, flowers, shoots, burgeonings— though when I look up again from their grey chop & slip what is this winterdead bush to me. This is how something happens but what. Inside, the toddlers bend over and tap. They cannot yet walk or talk. They sit on the floor one in the high chair. They wait. They tap but make no sound. The screen they peer down into waiting is too slow. The trick won’t ever happen fast enough. They are waiting for their faces to dissolve, to be replaced by the quick game. If you speak to them, they don’t look up. The story doesn’t happen fast enough. The winterdead heads move in a sudden breeze. The wilderness grows almost giddy with alternatives on the cold patio. I stand barefoot in it. I always do this as it always does this. It lies on me. Scribbles a summer-scrawl. I watch my naked feet take on the shadow-blossoming without a trace of feeling. It feels good. As long as I see it it feels like years, invasions, legends—a thing with something at its heart— it moves the way the living move absent of will— the wind will define what is happening here—I call a name out—just to check— at the one wearing the purple jumpsuit with the small blue elephant stitched into it. The young of the elephant starve because the matriarch is killed before it can be passed on—where water is, where safe passage, how

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