Saturday, November 21, 2020

A Long Way with only Forest

At six a.m. the blue pitch of dawn is my heart shedding Christ. 

Carefully setting crystals on the stumps of trees in order to heal what fells and what has fallen.

Roads that go a long way with only forest on either side.

Hats my mother's father wore.

Sleeping with the cobbler's son, not telling him where sleeping with him ends.

Midnight on the train in Greece, Athens behind us and you asleep, and me facing the early lattice of marriage on which strands of bittersweet would eventually grow gnarled and ruinous.

You only think you're a body.

Drops of yesterday's rain still resting on the side yard lilac. Puddles outside the transfer station that reflect the reddening sky.

You can't get closer in a poem than you can on your knees and yet.

We who are yet learning how to pray.

Cosmos is Longing.

I slip near the barn, right myself and draw a breath before going on. 

Everything that died when I was young, taking me with it into the void from which I clawed back, time after time, not knowing that the void, too, was my home.

The descent into relative minors which in the summer of 1988 in Burlington Vermont reconstituted my heart in ways it would take decades to understand.

Watching hills wondering what they say of the women beyond them.

A series of abstractions which are insufficient on their own to affect the requisite reversal of cause-and-effect. 

How frightened I was cleaning guns, knowing at a young age that "accidentally killed while cleaning his gun" was a metaphor for suicide.

Background vocals.

Forgetting what I meant to write, staring out the south-facing window a thousand miles, past prison yard and gallows, past even the idea of freedom, to you.

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