CHERISHING THESE FEW HOURS
Cherishing these few hours of the morning
as an intimacy
I am not compelled to indulge.
It’s raining. Washing
the dust of the road off the car
freaked by silver rivers of silt.
Painting on the easel.
Poem on the go.
They happen as they will.
Shapeshifting views of turmoil
in a bag of skin.
It’s tricky coaxing snakes to dance.
I look out the window.
What do I know?
I think the windows are crying
but it’s hard to tell the water from the glass
and no one’s saying anything
but even in daylight
when the morning is not beautiful
I’m still a soft fossil on the moon
waiting for its oceans to return
with news of other places to live
though I know I am only
the quality of my hopelessness.
And all contradictions and aburdities aside
I’ve learned to live amicably
with advanced modes of ambivalence
that leave me suspended in space
like a quartz crystal in a dreamcatcher
that never caught anything
it didn’t immediately throw back
after it tore the moon out of my mouth like a hook
or a German syllable.
And it may still be my voice
but you can’t reseed a burnt forest with a book
and I don’t try anymore
though the ghosts of a noble aspiration
are hard to ignore when they summon the living
to answer the dead.
You may think
you can approach madness
with a level head
and your feet firmly planted on the ground
and a graduate knowledge of precedents
that drinks from the mouths
of what other men have said
but you’re only building Taj Mahals
on cornerstones of quicksand in a dream.
Things are and are not what they seem
and the stories you tell like smoke
are just the history of a fire
that hasn’t fully consumed you.
And even when it does,
who’s left to say anything anyways
as a million blades of grass
put down their swords
like hostile witnesses
and the oldest galaxies in the multiverse
are suddenly looking back with longing
through their lost dimensions
as if you were the source
of something true
they could rely on.
I offer them my emptiness like space,
my voice like time
and light like a face
to conceal my darkness.