To L

”This morning will take some song.”

Long ago, life wrecked the dark’s perfection. Yet that perfection can return,

though words pass through us now like light through a leaf,

and one has to imagine each thing

like a kissed face. Butterfly wings: eyelids of the dead

that flutter open

in a daydream—

a flight that makes one wince . . . .Vanishing doesn’t tell the truth longer. Nor

the next day with its wobbly table at the filling station where self-servers

pump their own. The lover’s sorrow hovers

like a glass globe above a spike, treasuring within it a fragrance. Does

anybody really think their touch will send it plummeting,

shattering a prison? On the other side of an opened window, night is smaller

than the fear of those who veer among its corners. Time rains on each place

and the moments run off and pool where? If we could understand the

existence, say,

of just nine frogs staring from a rose . . . we who ruin the body’s limits (so

lamented and inspiring) . . .

The waters rise through waters, sink through waters . . .

It’s not accurate to say we take the fury that diminishes us, or that it’s mixed

with the daily dirt caking the fingers stuck in childhood’s mouth. The

meanings of human life are never disappearing,

only disappearing for us who can’t change with them.

We’ve studied, but who can prepare for the cores turned inside out, for our

own shadows

plunged into rapids yet remaining?

Published online in Ascent.