Monday, June 21, 2021

The Church You Sometimes Visit

Low-flying turkey vultures, sunlight on their wings at a certain angle making me blink. Buttercups, cowbirds. Cutting down sumac to no avail. Do shadows point to the object blocking the light or to the light? Heavy rain two days earlier still pooled in corners of the horse pasture. Goldfinches, chickadees. How happy a ripple can make me, how ecstatic I feel upon noticing eddies where the river softens in warm shallows. A mile or so away a backhoe grinds around an old barn's foundation, folks with money rehabbing postcards. What's green, what's not. So much of what is gone is not worth missing, pulpy froth generated by misunderstandings of time and matter, and yet here we are. I remember making love in the fire tower overlooking western Massachusetts, five a.m., the sun just rising, knocking a thermos of chamomille tea with my left foot five stories down, the dent - like so many other effects - still visible, even now. Grazing sheep. And in the distance a willow tree I had not noticed before. Tell me again about the church you sometimes visit, the one you discovered as a child, between pigs shrieking as their throats were cut and your mother's voice hitting all the notes of "Be Not Afraid?"

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