Monday, February 23, 2009



Watching diamonds evaporate

as they lose their edge

like my breath in winter

breaking into stars,

I am peopled by the trees enough

not to feel alone

but most of me

is a small intimacy

in an immense space

that doesn’t wear a face out in the cold

like a man stepping through his back door

late at night

to remind himself

how far away from home he is

when he looks up

like the secret threshold

of a rootless tree

and there’s nothing left to be

but what he is and isn’t,

a journey whose only return

is always a mode of leaving.

Death nothing is

devoid of a copulative

not pre-existent and waiting

for my blood to run out of verbs

and overturn the grail like a shotglass

when it’s tasted me down to the last drop

and it’s not the cup this time

but the wine that’s finally empty.

My body’s a snowman in spring

unspooling like a map

of unnamed rivers on Mars

and my mind is an indecipherable

encyclopedia of scars

written in a lost dialect of stars

by a dying civilization

encrypted in a dead language

like the meaning of life

when there’s no longer any life

in the eyes of the meaning.

There’s no salvation

in not lying to yourself about death

nor reward for the courage

to look at it clearly

like a beginning that knows where it ends.

Every life is lightning

in the lamp of the universe

that leaves nothing unrevealed,

whose dearest, most urgent substance is revelation.

I don’t need to perform surgery

on my eyes in the mirror

and remove my face like a cataract to see.

I don’t need to sink telescopes

like Atlantean wells in space

to know how far I’ve fallen from grace

looking for paradise under my feet

before death was lonely

and life was sweet.