1.

Now I am making an infinity scarf
in my crumbling country. An infinity scarf is a scarf with edges
but no end. I have five skeins, spun from a herd of animals
I have never seen. Soon, they will be one united

thing. In my crumbling country every day,
people spend their lives standing in lines
to buy designer sneakers. Every day, I walk by these lines
in regular sneakers. I write this on my device on my way

to work. I work all day so my king can ride horses.
On my device, I keep contact information
for people I love, as well as video I shot
across borders. My crumbling country still loves

borders. Because I am making an infinity scarf
in this moment, I am a Maker of Infinity Scarves.
My country loves this way of speaking. It is
a way of moving through the world without necessities

of thinking. I am making an infinity scarf in my crumbling
country, trying to bring these nothing-theses together.
All true words mean darkness. I am trying to make
one united thing. I have now finished the first skein.

 

 

 

2.

The greatest poet on earth lives on an island.
My friend knows him. He writes poems for food.
Writes poems in his head. Writes poems on the sand
at low tide, so the sea can erase them.

The greatest poet refuses to publish
anything. On the island he lives happily.
I’m not sure if I believe my friend.
I would like to believe him

the way my crumbling country would like
to believe in borders. When I was becoming a writer
(always still becoming) I thought it enough
to cross the border of myself, to reach out and touch

another person. I was in love with someone
whose borders were always shifting. I spent my life
pursuing a treaty. Now, years later, it seems
I wasted years of my young life. It seems

the kind of thing the greatest poet on earth would have
never done. Because he lives in absolute freedom,
begging only for food. Because he has no concerns
for borders. He is the second skein.

 

 

 

3.

The fall of a city is a thing I watch
thanks to advances in technology. The city is being
blown to pieces, buried in history.
Sometimes I stay up late sheerly to see

my husband sleeping, ensconced in vulnerability,
to try to imagine us living in the falling city.
This city was caught in a war because of
the usual disputes about power and borders.

I carry this city in my pocket because
that’s where I carry my work. You must love
your work lest you have no life left
to love. I carry this city in my pocket because

that’s where I carry my friends.
I don’t know who is real and who isn’t,
but entities in the device want to connect.
They send and send requests.

In my crumbling country, we listen
to the old stories we’ve been telling ourselves
about ourselves forever. So this
is despair. The third skein.

 

 

 

4.

When my friend died, I was in another country.
I took the train from one ancient city to another,
trying to read a newspaper in a language I didn’t know,
an article about black holes.

The reason for the article, presumably some discovery,
was unintelligible to me. Out the window,
a volcano took almost a full hour to go by.
I would like to recede in the same way, sometimes.

Now I am making an infinity scarf
in my crumbling country. An infinity scarf is a scarf with edges
but no end. I have five skeins, spun from a herd of animals
I will never see. Soon, they will be one united

thing. I carry these words in my pocket because
that’s where I carry daylight and moonlight:
Fold the fabric in half the long way,
pretty sides facing together inward. 

My lover and I stood in the ruins of Rome
like everyone else. With devices, we filmed birds
flying above the ruined forum at night, the floodlights lit up
their feathered undersides. I will never be able to understand

 

 

 

5.

that moment. I have been working
on the infinity scarf, losing heart.
The world splays itself out before me
and I spend my life scattering myself

across its coordinates, stretching
into a constellation so complex
it loses all shape, becomes merely discrete
points of faint light, forever separate. 

Pin the edges together.
I have been making an infinity scarf,
as if weaving a shroud to contain my country.
I carry these scraps in my pocket

because that’s where I carry my country.
The greatest poet on earth will never publish.
I submit this to you for publication
while my vulnerable husband

is sleeping. The greatest poet is sleeping.
My dead friend is sleeping. My king
rides his horse into the sunset
and it is perfect. Pin the edges.

 

 

Photograph © Kai C. Schwarzer

Karl Kraus and Veza
Jacques Testard | The Editor’s Chair