Friday, June 24, 2011

Not Revelation Tis

The poet, her ownself
Not "Revelation"--'tis--that waits,
But our unfurnished eyes--

- Emily Dickinson

* * *

There is nothing that can be given that isn't already in your possession, nothing that can be lost that was never yours to begin with.  It isn't the gift or the loss that is essential, only that you are awake to it.

Don't you know this yet?

* * *

I fain would furnish your eyes with such things as I have seen: the slowness of a dying breath, sibilant and hushing - the gaunt form tired, tired, tired; the fiery red gills of small-mouth bass on a thick nylon line gulping in air instead of water - their eyes wide in disbelief; cream-colored vernix slathered helter-skelter over a newborn - gathering in creases like mortar; the eyes of a child drifting into unconsciousness and later searching, searching for yours as they are strapped to a back board and rolled into an ambulance; the betrayal of cancerous bones - traitorous in their submission; the stiffness in a dead dog's body as it is laid, forever laid in a grave cut by your own hands; the burning pride of a young girl on a sorrel mare vaulting impossibly high jumps - her father a wreck of fear and astonishment; the curves and rays of a hip seen by moonlight, candlelight, by the light of desire - bone and skin as taut as a drum; the meandering of 500 year old tree roots tumbling over themselves - a slow fury of attachment; a monk - tall, sinewy, hair close-cropped - praying over a sinner in a voice that belongs to God and God alone; gravestones stacked like playing cards and the small rocks placed atop each in clusters of remembrance; a closed eye waiting to be kissed - the eyelashes fluttering; the rotted teeth of an addict and her inability to chew solid food - the detritus of despair; a bald eagle gliding down a steep walled river at dusk - impervious to everything not him; families attached to one another for no reason other than comfort and love - a new lesson, a new lesson; a silver ring flung into a fallow field - its parabola eclipsed by a larger arc; the sweetness - un-nameable - of watching a woman sleep - still naked, still vulnerable, still next to you; a father standing behind a boy, his knobby hands trying to show the boy how to tie a tie - forever to be tied the same way; a beloved friend, a priest facing his death with as much fear as any and able to still that fear by the grace of his faith; a solitary and brittle child practicing her music, subduing her inexperience - proud, alone, beautiful; an open window, dark in mid-day and the sound of a woman's voice singing to herself and hiding below the sill to hear her sing viragom, viragom.

* * *

Do you not know yet?

It isn't the world waiting to reveal itself to you, but you to it.

* * *

Amen and amen.


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