That rise up one after one like little presidents;
Not for the small self, afraid
It has misunderstood the question.
Oh it's prepared to answer anyway,
It has its array of modest affirmations
Like anyone. Just that –
So many years and something in the leaves
Does not fall.
I find young starlings in the lake's ice,
Their wings spread like death-flowers pressed in a book;
Find moths spawned in the woodshed
Like a winter's supply of blossoms.
It's just that I was looking for a world
to walk into empty-handed.
That's when I found you, female, shamelessly
Sailing toward me in your folded paper boat.
Don't deny it, please.
At night the self feels smaller
And water is scarce in parts of the mind.
The small self is obliged, therefore,
To take back everything
Anyone has ever said.
No one is allowed to speak now
I thought it took
A red-tailed hawk
To make hunger
Look so easy.
It was your first time with me,
You lay awake all night,
Though your clothes
Went right to sleep
Like man's best friend
When you slipped
Into that other landscape.
As if the steam iron
Of being a whale,
Becalmed in sea-wrinkles,
(Such a lonesome cowboy)
And walked away.
How were you to know
Stood on their toes
For a better look
When you brushed your hair
From your forehead –
They were undone!
The vacant sun
Has better manners
When you rose
In the first, slender light,
It touched your shoulder –
But only a little –
As if to say
Excuse me, you dropped this,
Having risen all night to see you.
I've been reading Galvin's "Resurrection Update" the past day or two, so beautiful, a little haunting. Though he lives in Wyoming, anyone in the the west can claim his landscape. Or maybe just anyone. Wish I had time to write out Leaving the Tilted City, or Left-handed Poem. Or more, To See the Stars in Daylight, because I wrote a poem called We Live All Day Beneath the Stupid Fucking Stars, and it will teach me something.
But it is the morning of Christmas Eve, and the to do list is long, and snow is falling out my window, making the world more quiet. Which makes me think of the snow post earlier, and Mary Ruefle.
I would've call this post sky if I hadn't already used it. But I am glad I did, because small is more appropriate: this morning, poems, little quiet moments that break open the sky.
of a size that is less than normal or usual. "the room was small and quiet"