I SIT AT MY WINDOW
I sit at my window
trying to translate the Kufic script
of the shadows of the trees on the snow,
smoking the invisible ink of the light
over the flame of my mind
to clarify my seeing
by realizing there is no deep or shallow
in the fathomless depths of I am,
nothing hidden, nothing revealed.
And it’s not so much that I am in the presence of the world,
but that the presence, the world, is me,
and if I go looking for it,
only my fingerprints will be found
like these violet shadows dusted by the snow
under my multitudinous mugshot in the mirror.
So I open my mind and my eye, my heart and my hand
and let things arise as they will,
knowing that even this is a blunder
that advances my tardy illumination by another eclipse.
This morning blue is the taste of the sky
and I am alive again at my desk
to wonder who or what or why I might be
this wondering spontaneity
circling like a bird in the abyss,
feathered by feeling and thought
for a tree or a meaning to perch in
that hasn’t already been struck
by the lightning of my homeless insight.
Indwelling energy in the turmoil of a terrible silence,
I am an ambassador of water to an unknown star
that foils my blood with light the closer I approach
and I don’t know what the message is
or who it’s from, but every time I deliver it,
my head comes off like the moon.
At some point you have to give up looking
to go on seeing, you must
come to a full stop
if you want to liberate the pen
that indicts you like an assassin
with his ear to the wall.
So I go by night, unheeded and alone,
a constellation of my own
that doesn’t read the braille of itself
reflected like direction in the starchart on the lake,
cored like eyes into the dice of my bones,
or mummified by a legend in a straitjacket
interred in the long-standing consensus of a guess,
knowing I would only be following my own footprints
like the shadows of these words
that flow from the trees in the snow.
And there are squirrels that leap from branch to branch
of these arboreal letters like commas
that don’t know where they go
and wrens that perch like quotation marks
around things that can never be said
that everyone claims they know
as they call out their name
like the echoless vocabulary
of a febrile grammar in a mad dream
as if their whole life were ingathered into one last scream
that might shatter the mirror of the way things inevitably seem.
I listen to the world and hear in each person and form
the mindstream moving through the night
like the voice of a mystic alphabet
returning to the sea
with news of itself
whispered into its own ear.
And if sometimes the stars think
my seeing goes too far,
my seeking exceeds the bounds of the light,
as it turns planets like doorknobs
to open new rooms in a dark mansion
that stands like an abandoned cornerstone of the night on a hill
waiting for me to return like a lost threshold,
or the faceless side of the moon to a window,
then let me here and now confess to my own denial
and knock on the door of the next false address
to see if I can find who wrote
this loveletter that slashes me open like a smile
and reads me out loud to the stars on the wind
as if I were the last flare from an empty lifeboat.