Once upon a time, there was a book
of some renown
in my country. I am here
as well, the shopkeeper
busy telling the story of the sheep and the barley sugar
to two Americans. Forever
I watch items remain still
in small bins, on hangers, sometimes behind glass.
I dream I buy souvenirs.
A vague recollection. The salesman wishes
I’d brought a copy, but I just stutter,
can’t remember the words.
Later, all I can do is pose
behind hedges. Since I drowned
in my Ph.D., even the Bodleian Library cannot excite me.
Once there was a book that led me
to produce a grant proposal out of my ass.
My head explodes
with something so abstract
it fills my head with ideas—
only I don’t exactly know what they are—
Oxford is such a lovely abstraction, I think,
and pour tea
to a cup where a cat smiles up
at me, drowning.