It is this place, not
one to the left or right.
Here, and not on the seeming
many floors above, the seeming
few below.
Not one of the chambers
of great arches and vaults, domes
suspended like a private sky,
allocated by criteria unknown.
This is not a clerical error.
And conspirators have far larger targets.
It could have been
a blanket on a sidewalk grate,
or a yurt, as you could have been
born shark or armadillo.
Those prospects are nothing
like the floor of this room,
its real ceiling and actual windows.
The prospect of moving
cannot stand in for them.
The square footage
does not lend itself to dance,
but there is space for the day’s
necessary pacing.
Cracks in the plaster can be spackled
against drafts and cockroaches.
The walls will take nails enough
to hide the water stains behind
a habitat of posters.
It is your place, and you will
furnish it like a life.

J.D. Smith

J.D. Smith’s fourth collection, The Killing Tree, was published in late 2016, and he has received a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He works as an editor and writer in Washington, DC, where he lives with his wife Paula Van Lare and their rescue animals.

–Art: “Foolish Starts – Detail (1988)” Construction by Ira Joel Haber

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in the USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture.

Copyright 2017, J.D. Smith. Copyright 2017, Ira Joel Haber

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