Question and Answer 282

q: you have
five dimes. they
are new dimes.
the oldest is a bit
older than you but
you are still young
yes? not the question.
the dimes. you have
five and one is in
my sleeve and you
are counting the
five dimes (one
in my sleeve) then
behind you a dog
barks faraway to the
night you drop four
of the dimes.

I hand you the fifth.

how many are going to mouth words-
or stand and freeze outdoors, when the
permafrost of telephone lines and
arctic birds

caw cracked into the cracked air?

a: damn if they had told you then I would not be (you would not be) starkly literate and alone-
staring at the hubris

of last-summer

falling on the empty grass.

(the dime in my sleeve. it was never really there. but

you knew that?)