Struggling with Words
Struggling with words—
like learning to dance, or memorizing jazz,
or courtship, one’s last—
is worth it. Though with all these,
I stammer as I reach my void of vision—
the blindness behind my eyes,
my fence of expression.
The slipperiest words show best
how context gives them taste—
tart and sweet— and lodges them,
mossy and furrowed
like the pit of a peach.
So this struggle persists,
since when it succeeds
thoughts and feelings find their mates,
and I renew my belief:
clear words connect us
like the air that we breathe.
And in spite of the murk,
we thrust our words forward
hoping to reveal and capture it all:
crafting words even for the absence of things, like
shadows and sky and death and blank,
and the something in the nothing
of negative space.
Leaning over the waves, we tack our way.
We trim the sails of letters and speech,
plunging black waters, shaping the wind,
searching beyond and beneath.
Walking the Figure Eight
Across an autumn landscape we walked
with asymmetric interests in one another.
We talked about art, as we couldn’t us.
We looped through this ruse, and I made my case
for paintings that draw me in and out.
You countered with sculpture because it is solid,
inserting a certainty in a world often soft.
And though I was prone to be strong and stable,
by you, I trembled like a branch in a storm.
But you were as sure as you were subtle,
like the leaves that floated past your body,
elusive as the plans made at dances.
Still I waltzed through this canvas,
taking my chance, while you—
a marble goddess—sat it out.
A Prophesy of Black Holes
If we were creatures
at the bottom of dark oceans—
close descendants of our planet’s first life—
perhaps we would share a sacred belief:
One that pictures our final deliverance
from the lowly rocks of birth and death
to a place above the cloud-dropped mirrors
breaking upon our roof—
far beyond the bands of light
And in this space, where we’ll ascend,
there’s an infinite hole—
the black of starless nights,
where we will live, forever unchanged,
and illumination will disappear,
eclipsing the need for sight.
And we’d be certain of this belief
since it was told by ancient blind prophets
who came to our murk from the waters above,
warning that vision goads temptation
and is a curse that should be shunned.