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Gedankenexperiment

Let’s say one’s mind is an office
of Late Brutalist design. Let’s say it is being
built. One knows it’s being built
by the drills’ muffled grind on the wall’s
far side, which is the sound of a mosquito
spelunking one’s ear. It’s been years, now,
of construction, but what has changed?
One believes in the thermostat
stuck at eighty. One believes this season’s
secretary is less lovely than last
season’s secretary, as one believes the flicker
of the lights above does not mean one lives
in a recovered early-century German film—
that the class war doesn’t teem outside one’s office
like the yogurt forgotten in the mini-fridge.
One is forever and never eating one’s lunch.
One is forever and never in love
with the young woman with the wineglass of gasoline,
watching one grow older through the missing
window, lighting each cigarette—like a bad
actress—on the fake, unlit end of the last.

Posted 11/10/14
first published in BOSTON REVIEW, October 2014. https://bostonreview.net/poetry/sean-bishop-gedankenexperiment
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