By Peter Halstead

Airs that stay attached to these
Floating strands of body hairs
        In our bath today, even when
            We try to drown them,
Attach themselves again,
Like gelatin, to the batch,
            Invisible to the eye, but
            Appearing in the scribble
On the bathtub bottom,
Its shadow’s sole phenomenon,
            That is, absent in reality
            But present in the apparatus
Created by the sun outside,
A carbon copy mated
            By an accident of light
            Or some matching ion
That shapes, from dimples,
Tiny shades of clinging fat,
            Like magnetic jewels
            Or underwater mica,
Only thriving here, that, in the open,
Disappear, shy and lonely
            Wings of water which,
            Just when xeroxed, turn to rings,
Coats of hidden strings
On which our body also floats.

Tippet Alley
December 18th, 2000