They had become concerned about him and started
to keep an aggression diary.
The leaning is a clue. Intent controls
the spine’s tilt towards whatever.
See how he slants in his not-so-easy
chair, ignoring the burbling television.
Try to know exactly where he’s looking.
The file shows the outside signs
of inner roaring can be small. A knuckle
gone white. The stretched-out throat.
Piranesi’s Carceri: a man is racked,
the only sky above shows through a giant
treadmill, several pulleys dangle ropes
over indeterminate spiked objects.
Be careful what the eye feeds on
when it can’t get out from inside
the walls and all the stairs lead
nowhere, the drawbridge drawn up.
And consider the weaponry to hand
in fire, bunched cloth, a stone dislodged…
Lightning ignited a dry tree in the garden.
He leaned still farther into the room
from his chair. Flames perhaps played
intermittently in the window glass.
The other spread his arms like a fierce
swan its wings, falling backward.
There was a white rushing, flailing.
There were teeth on show on both sides.
And then, and then: what you would, expect
in cries and interventions, heat quenched
eventually, the furniture rearranged,
a return to the vertical through the house.
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