Saturday, October 9, 2010

An Observation

It is hard to look at things,

harder to say what you see.

Rattle each grain of sand

in its grave of desert?

Why begin unless you intend

to see things to the end?

And do not rely on the words

you overheard in a dream,

not knowing what they mean,

how they sound, those half-shadowed

chess pieces maneuvering

in and out of thought, unthought.

Language goes hard as time

at the first understanding.

Everything goes inside it,

which is an unopened box . . .

vague outline of a blue box

against a black background.

Then your voice’s children

as they escape to the street,

as they wade into the crowd . . .

the wind sucks them through a bone.

A plume of exhalation

withers on the zero air.

We know only one thing,

as a novel knows one story,

like a closed book reading

its own discrete emotions

pressed to paper word by

word, comma by comma.

It is not only duration

allows our mouths approaching

by halves to sometimes kiss.

A word is startled by the eye,

and something is discrete,

if still unknown, no longer.