|Self-Exile as a Means of Preventing Prophecy|
by Julian X  /  poetry  /  9 Jul 2007
Sitting and smoking in the nicest spot on campus,
a single glass table and two chairs, in the morning.
An automated sprinkler sprays the potted plants
and bushes, but I sit anyway with my cafe.
As I read, the spray travels, oscellating with
the wind. Dimly aware, checking occasionally,
I keep reading. With time, the sprinkler itself
is blown towards me some fraction of a degree,
and my feet are just clear. People pass, and I
cannot help imagining them noticing the absurd
scene of this deluge in controlled arc landing
just beyond the shoes. The grass saturates,
the concrete floods, and I think of those happy,
glowing green leaves, fed so constantly.
Surely some jungle will grow here.
Awakened by the passing onlookers’ eyes, I turn
and stare in awe at the arcs luminous beside me,
at the randomness of each trajectory, and yet
the remarkable consistency. Each line its own thing,
the whole an ever-moving, ever-changing sculpture
just a few inches from my face and shoes.
Yet I feel safe, and no sooner notice this absurdity
than think I ought to move, lest the sprinkler be blown
a degree or two to the right and douse me.
I’m reading about the ancients and fate, by the way.
I move, and then a nice lady comes around
and turns off the water. We talk briefly, and I tell her
of my Buddhist moment, gazing into the stream.
A minute later, it begins to rain.
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