By Billy Collins
This is the only life I have, this one in my head,
the one that travels along the surface of my body
singing the low voltage song of the ego,
the one that feels like a ball between my ears
sometimes, and other times feels absolutely galactic,
the life that my feet carry around like two blind
scholars working together on a troublesome manuscript.
This is the only life I have, and I am standing
dead in the centre of it, like a man doing a rope trick
in a rodeo, passing the lasso over his body
smiling inside a twirling of ovals and ellipses.
This is the only life I have and I never step out of it
except to follow a character down the alleys of a novel,
or when love makes me want to remove my clothes
and sail classical records off a cliff.
Otherwise you can always find me within this hoop of myself,
the rope flying around me, moving up to encircle my head
like an equator or a halo or a zero.
From Questions About Angels