Unburnable the Cold is Flooding Our Lives

Friday, July 15, 2016

the prophets are alive but unrecognizable to us
as calligraphy to a mouse      for a time they dragged

long oar strokes across the sky        now they sit
in graveyards drinking coffee forking soapy cottage cheese

into their mouths      my hungry is different than their hungry    
I envy their discipline but not enough to do anything about it      

I blame my culture       I blame everyone but myself    
intent arrives like a call to prayer and is as easy to dismiss      

Rumi said the two most important things in life were beauty
and bewilderment     this is likely a mistranslation     

after thirty years in America my father now dreams in English    
says he misses the dead relatives he used to be able to visit in sleep     

how many times are you allowed to lose the same beloveds
before you stop believing they’re gone

some migrant birds build their nests over rivers       
to push them into the water when they leave       this seems

almost warm       a good harm       the addictions
that were killing me fastest were the ones I loved best     

turning the chisel toward myself I found my body
was still the size of my body      still unarmored as wet bread      

one way to live a life is to spend each moment asking
forgiveness for the last         it seems to me the significance

of remorse would deflate with each performance      better
to sink a little into the earth and quietly watch life unfold      

violent as a bullring        the carpenter’s house will always be
the last to be built       sometimes a mind is ready to leave

the world before its body      sometimes paradise happens
too early and leaves us shuddering in its wake       

I am glad I still exist      glad for cats and moss
and Turkish indigo        and yet       to be light upon the earth     

to be steel bent around an endless black      to once again
be God’s own tuning fork        and yet      and yet

Friday, July 15, 2016