from Catabolism To solicit silence, not preceding or shadowing a moment but subsequently memorialized as a sensation, you would have to be static. Thinking back is a term we use to preface regret. You too have not forgotten? To carry no contradictions we must build emptiness as one stretches the body to win an eating contest. All attempts to re-enact the emotion relies on the familiar. Within time, opinions collude to become a history. Within time, rules apply to gestures. In years, how will strangers read us when we walk by? A clothesline over the bathtub prompts a debate over utility and necessity. Structures collapse without warning: this is a cautionary tale where the subject is reprised for what could have been avoided. We can take refuge in something other than the mind for image does not always follow content. Books suggest compassion softens the self to be less itself, the I interchangeable for you so we feel the sadness of the world lessen our own. The teacher said, Rome was not built in a day, we understood he was referring to his own life. The whorl of form, the heft in raising a body by the arms: every day we are fooled. Night stalks the hands of a clock. Time is my adversary, not disease, bank or winter. If we bend far enough we avoid a fall. We are not from here, reference is not genetic. Place as sentiment from whence separation begins. We ask feet to forget the summer rendered in sentences. After we speak of beauty, we are led to its consequences. The sorrow of age: to sit like a crow, to stand like a diseased tree. ------------------- Tsering Wangmo Dhompa was raised in India and Nepal. Tsering received her MA from University of Massachussetts and her MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Her first book of poems, Rules of the House, published by Apogee Press in 2002 was a finalist for the Asian American Literary Awards in 2003. Other publications include In the Absent Everyday (Apogee Press) and two chapbooks, In Writing the Names (A.bacus, Potes & Poets Press) and Recurring Gestures (Tangram Press). My Rice Tastes like the Lake, a book of poems is forthcoming from Apogee Press. Tsering lives in San Francisco.