WIDE OPEN NIGHT
Wide open night, supple and unresponsive
you come on like a cool, black pearl,
an eclipse of the mind,
to keep me from going blind.
And it hurts to think
of how I could love you and won’t.
There’s a mystic urgency in the pain
of a universe in a grain of sand
trying to catch a pyramid’s attention,
and I doubt if I’ve caught yours
though I know the names
of all your stars
and saved the first drafts
of all your pulp-fiction constellations
as if they were the fakings of a holy book.
I don’t know why
my passion for you
always ends up feeling
like the afterbirth of small nations
on third-world rations,
or worst-world cannibals
trying to teach me how to cook.
One day I’ll compile a grammar
of the indecipherable markings
on the flaring hood
of the queen cobra in the room
that bides her time
by swaying to the music
as if she were the writing on the wall.
I’ll learn to speak to you about unspeakable things
and when you smile at me
I won’t feel as if my blood
were being strained through a teatowel
like stewed blackberries
being thickened into jam.
I will be maculately clear
about who I am
and you will know
that each of us
the whole of the universe
in every moment
and life is not more
and death is not less
than they have ever been,
that no river is flowing the wrong way to the sea,
that what you see is engendered by the unseen
and what flowers within you
is the perennial theme
of water in the mindstream
enabling forms effortlessly
along the uncontainable way of its growing
to play at being you
deep in the wells and watersheds
of your unfathomable eyes
and more lightly on the grass like dew.