Replicas

 
Stripped of definition, our street succumbs to snow, pedestrians
Succumb to snow angels, temporary trenches in the gradual kingdom.
 
At this time more than any other I find it necessary, despite any
And all information spread before me, to misquote the following
 
From memory: It was Stephen King, I know, though knowing
Hardly matters, who said something about Terror, a thing one
 
Comes home to when he finds each piece of furniture
Replaced with what appears to be an exact copy. It is thus
 
Without disrespect for those who have died for such privileges
As books and search engines that I must disregard them here;
 
It is merely out of distrust: Why, even with the hand grazing
The light switch, the eyes adjust to the dark anyway, why
 
I watch from the darkened window, as you hurdle the angels
Pitting the ground on your way home from cryosurgery,
 
To capture your unprepared face before you can tell us both
You are finally used to the cold. Had I not scuttled all
 
Earthly knowledge (this, to approximate what Lovecraft,
As I recall, saw as Man’s greatest blessing: Some numbness
 
To frost’s omnivorous tentacles), I’d search your face in paintings
Forged and worth millions more than their mothers. The sort
 
Of God who sanctions immaterial threats, metaphysical pits,
Is necessary tonight, the sort who sets us on His lap and needs
 
To ask, only once, if we’ve all been nice. Outside, He is upon you,
Like the aura that hangs about a Typhoid Mary, every last doorknob
 
Made new under your touch, like you are the weather through which
You stumble, chipped from the blotted horizon. Somewhere,
 
A man, homeless, freezes to death in your body, becomes unoccupied
Sculpture: The body the ornament which marks the body.
 
###

Christopher Munde’s poetry has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Blackbird, Massachusetts Review, Third Coast, and elsewhere. He is an Academy of American Poets Prize recipient, and was recently a finalist for the Robert Dana Prize. He lives and teaches in Jamestown, NY.

“Replicas” was originally published in John le Carré (TLR, Winter 2015).