This is an ingrown toenail.
Something from the end of the universe,
somewhere in the arc of the belly flop
back, separated from the handholds
of the expected. Somehow cobbled together,
an old leather shoe with distance scrawled
across the sole, in an almost illegible hand,
with a dull pencil and a duller intent.
Something that presses against
a queue of events, with runaway emotions
looking for a destination, a track. Somewhere
after the canal through trees, past
streets languid with dawn. Stretching
in a jagged curve with a painful moan.
Somewhat lost and somewhat compressed
with an unknown fear. A band of words,
a camaraderie of phrases, the ping-pong path
of an atom through atoms, a foghorn
during a storm, trying to articulate a message
that must be relayed.