The Art of Finding
~After Elizabeth Bishop
First lose. Practice losing. Start
small like the keys or your wallet.
Then graduate to more important
things. Things people would feel
offended if they somehow found
you misplaced. Say, a gift.
Your uncle says, I haven’t seen
you wear that watch I gave you
last Christmas, and you tell him its
too nice for everyday use. But you
think you left it on the stump
yard-working last month.
Make sure it isn’t where you last
remember leaving it. Art isn’t art
if it’s clean – think Pollack. Make sure
it isn’t left anywhere you frequent.
Your house. Your car. Your office.
The real artists struggle.
Call your mom when you’ve
truly lost it. When she tells you
it’s not there, don’t believe her.
Imagine her dangling it between
her fingers and smiling against
the receiver. Art takes time.
After you’ve exhausted all possibilities,
sink into the sofa and forget all about it.
But don’t really. Believe divine
intervention has nestled the thing
between your cushions. Art lies somewhere
between truth and willful lying – telling
ourselves, Yes, that is what a face
looked like this whole time. Don’t
reach through the lint and spare change,
fingers fishing empty seas. Your
eyes never drooped down the side
of your face, either. Art is trust.
About the Poet: David Walker is a husband, father, and teacher. He has work forthcoming in 99 Pine Street, After the Pause, The Tower Journal, Every Pigeon, and Rumble Fish Quarterly and is the author of three poetry chapbooks. He is also the founding editor for Golden Walkman Magazine.
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