after De Chirico

How faceless their pathos, the ovals
of these heads, huge, smooth, hermetic
as eggs, and solemn, especially the man's
angled heavily on its neck, shelled
in sleep: his bluish and drooping fingers,

the folded tide of sleeves, the whole
human collapse dreaming, pale as stone,
while above him the muse looks down,
his body half-man, half-a-makeshift
of wooden bricks, glue, plates of iron,

the failed parts of a life packed
into his chest. Half-monument, yes,
though corruptible, blooming with pity,
his great disproportionate hand resting
kindly on a chair. Imagine what it is

to open your body's language
like a vacant plaza—that missing arm,
was it hacked away or merely unconceived?—
a fountain drying in the salt air.
For every night in his thin coat of meat,

the machination of his gut, exposed,
he becomes more of the world than the dream
remembers, more fiercely lodged
in the stubborn wire and glass of things.
Which is not a place apart from solitude.