Poem In Which Wallace Stevens is at Work

At the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company
fire is fox red with blue rings, vertigos of water sluice down corridors
turning furniture to garbled jetsam.
Mountains crumble into the parking lot, telegraph poles attract lightning.

Things will be broken, then they will be restored.
The sun will drape its hangings over this and every town,
over cities levelled by mud, decaying pot plants, re-built outhouses.

His hands are clean, pens ordered on his varnished desk,
jam sandwich resting in the drawer, waiting for lunch.
The phone rings, wind nudges the poplars.
In his in-tray: collapsed stars, earthquakes, civil war,
common extraordinary disaster.

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