Poem Made from Failed Poems by Nico Alvarado

Suddenly to find
your own name
in a book
in a hand not
your own, crabbed
and fast and
foreign and all
you can do
is to leaf
through looking
for further signs
of yourself: a
question, a crescent
of water, a feather
marking the point in
the story where
the boat is dashed
against the rocks
and the captain’s crippled
friend builds a fire
in the middle of
a storm—something.
But it isn’t there.
Outside is
endless, endlessly
quiet. You tilt
forward as if
about to fall
the ratty paperback
from someone
else’s shelf,
and do.
It’s five o’clock.
A far-off dog
insanely hectors
passersby or just
the air. Evening,
pinkish, scatters
the trees and leaves
them stained. A wind
sweeps up the step
and knocks
the door against
the jamb again
and again and you
set down
the book to fix
some tea. The name
stays, and the story
with it, and so 
your story begins
to stretch out past
persons, places, acts,
almost as matter
of fact as
a cold or sun
on the table, but not
quite so complete,
something between
your public words
and your secret
self, speaking,
making these little
adjustments as
you go, hoping
the process
will be made
clear in time.
And why not?
You are who
you thought. It’s so
hard to address
the world coldly
trembling its
way into being.
Of course you
means me.
But try.