spring is like a perhaps hand :: e. e. cummings

III

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

to have without holding :: marge piercy

Learning to love differently is hard,
love with the hands wide open, love
with the doors banging on their hinges,
the cupboard unlocked, the wind
roaring and whimpering in the rooms
rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds
that thwack like rubber bands
in an open palm.

It hurts to love wide open
stretching the muscles that feel
as if they are made of wet plaster,
then of blunt knives, then
of sharp knives.

It hurts to thwart the reflexes
of grab, of clutch; to love and let
go again and again. It pesters to remember
the love who is not in the bed,
to hold back what is owed to the work
that gutters like a candle in a cave
without air, to love consciously,
conscientiously, concretely, constructively.

I can’t do it, you say it’s killing
me, but you thrive, you glow
on the street like a neon raspberry,
You float and sail, a helium balloon
bright bachelor’s button blue and bobbing
on the cold and hot winds of our breath,
as we make and unmake in passionate
diastole and systole the rhythm
of our unbound bounding, to have
and not to hold, to love
with minimized malice, hunger
and anger moment by moment balanced.

verbal calisthenics :: sylvia plath

My love for you is more
athletic than a verb,
Agile as a star
The tents of sun absorb.

Treading circus tight ropes
Of each syllable,
The brazen jackanapes
Would fracture if he fell.

Acrobat of space
The daring adjective
Plunges for a phrase
Describing arcs of love.

Nimble as a noun,
He catapults in air;
A planetary swoon
Could climax his career.

But adroit conjunction
Eloquently shall
Link to his lyric action
A periodic goal.

uptick :: john ashbery

We were sitting there, and
I made a joke about how
it doesn’t dovetail: time,
one minute running out
faster than the one in front
it catches up to.
That way, I said,
there can be no waste.
Waste is virtually eliminated.

To come back for a few hours to
the present subject, a painting,
looking like it was seen,
half turning around, slightly apprehensive,
but it has to pay attention
to what’s up ahead: a vision.
Therefore poetry dissolves in
brilliant moisture and reads us
to us.
A faint notion. Too many words,
but precious.

From Poetry; March 2009

love like salt :: lisel mueller

It lies in our hands in crystals
too intricate to decipher

It goes into the skillet
without being given a second thought

It spills on the floor so fine
we step all over it

We carry a pinch behind each eyeball

It breaks out on our foreheads

We store it inside our bodies
in secret wineskins

At supper, we pass it around the table
talking of holidays and the sea.

once the dream begins :: yusef komunyakaa

I wish the bell saved you.
“Float like a butterfly
& sting like a bee.”

Too bad you didn’t
learn to disappear
before a left jab.

Fighting your way our of a clench,
you counter-punched & bicycled
but it was already too late—

gray weather had started
shoving the sun into a corner.
“He didn’t mess up my face.”

But he was an iron hammer
against stone, as you
bobbed & weaved through hooks.

Now we strain to hear you.
Once the dream begins
to erase itself, can the

dissolve be stopped?
No more card tricks
for the TV cameras,

Ali. Please come back to us
sharp-tongued & quick-footed,
spinning out of the blurred

dance. Whoever said men
hit harder when women
are around, is right.

Word for word,
we beat the love
out of each other.

ah, ah :: joy harjo

for Lurline McGregor

Ah, ah cries the crow arching toward the heavy sky over the marina.
Lands on the crown of the palm tree.

Ah, ah slaps the urgent cove of ocean swimming through the slips.
We carry canoes to the edge of the salt.

Ah, ah groans the crew with the weight, the winds cutting skin.
We claim our seats. Pelicans perch in the draft for fish.

Ah, ah beats our lungs and we are racing into the waves.
Though there are worlds below us and above us, we are straight ahead.

Ah, ah tatttoos the engines of your plane against the sky—away from these waters.
Each paddle stroke follows the curve from reach to loss.

Ah, ah calls the sun from a fishing boat with a pale, yellow sail. We fly by
on our return, over the net of eternity thrown out for stars.

Ah, ah scrapes the hull of my soul. Ah, ah.

now that no one looking :: adam kirsch

Now that no one looking at the night—
Sky blanked by leakage from electric lamps
And headlights prowling through the parking lot
Could recognize the Babylonian dance
That once held every gazer; now that spoons
And scales, and swordsmen battling with beasts
Have decomposed into a few stars strewn
Illegibly across an empty space,
Maybe the old unfalsifiable
Predictions and extrapolated spheres
No longer need to be an obstacle
To hearing what it is the stars declare:
That there are things created of a size
We can’t and weren’t meant to understand,
As fish know nothing of the sun that writes
Its bright glyphs on the black waves overhead.

a hand :: jane hirshfield

A hand is not four fingers and a thumb. Nor is it palm and knuckles, not ligaments or the fat’s yellow pillow, not tendons, star of the wristbone, meander of veins. A hand is not the thick thatch of its lines with their infinite dramas, nor what it has written, not on the page, not on the ecstatic body. Nor is the hand its meadows of holding, of shaping— not sponge of rising yeast-bread, not rotor pin’s smoothness, not ink. The maple’s green hands do not cup the proliferant rain. What empties itself falls into the place that is open. A hand turned upward holds only a single, transparent question. Unanswerable, humming like bees, it rises, swarms, departs.

trillium :: louise glück

[poem for march 22, 2009]

When I woke up I was in a forest. The dark
seemed natural, the sky through the pine trees
thick with many lights.

I knew nothing; I could do nothing but see.
And as I watched, all the lights of heaven
faded to make a single thing, a fire
burning through the cool firs.
Then it wasn’t possible any longer
to stare at heaven and not be destroyed.

Are there souls that need
death’s presence, as I require protection?
I think if I speak long enough
I will answer that question, I will see
whatever they see, a ladder
reaching through the firs, whatever
calls them to exchange their lives—

Think what I understand already.
I woke up ignorant in a forest;
only a moment ago, I didn’t know my voice
if one were given to me
would be so full of grief, my sentences
like cries strung together.
I didn’t even know I felt grief
until that word came, until I felt
rain streaming from me.

the geranium :: theodore roethke

When I put her out, once, by the garbage pail,
She looked so limp and bedraggled,
So foolish and trusting, like a sick poodle,
Or a wizened aster in late September,
I brought her back in again
For a new routine—
Vitamins, water, and whatever
Sustenance seemed sensible
At the time: she’d lived
So long on gin, bobbie pins, half-smoked cigars, dead beer,
Her shriveled petals falling
On the faded carpet, the stale
Steak grease stuck to her fuzzy leaves.
(Dried-out, she creaked like a tulip.)

The things she endured!—
The dumb dames shrieking half the night
Or the two of us, alone, both seedy,
Me breathing booze at her,
She leaning out of her pot toward the window.

Near the end, she seemed almost to hear me—
And that was scary—
So when that snuffling cretin of a maid
Threw her, pot and all, into the trash-can,
I said nothing.

But I sacked the presumptuous hag the next week,
I was that lonely.

the dragonfly :: louise bogan

You are made of almost nothing
But of enough
To be great eyes
And diaphanous double vans;
To be ceaseless movement,
Unending hunger,
Grappling love.

Link between water and air,
Earth repels you.
Light touches you only to shift into iridescence
Upon your body and wings.

Twice-born, predator,
You split into the heat.
Swift beyond calculation or capture
You dart into the shadow
Which consumes you.

You rocket into the day.
But at last, when the wind flattens the grasses,
For you, the design and purpose stop.

And you fall
With the other husks of summer.

ode to my socks :: pablo neruda

update: revised translation

translated by anthea s. maslin

Maru Mori brought me
a pair
of socks
she had knit with her own
shepherd’s hands,
two socks as soft
as rabbits.
I slipped my feet
inside them
as if they were
two
cases
knit
with threads of
twilight
and the pelt of sheep.

Violent socks,
my feet became
two fish
made of wool,
two long sharks
of ultramarine blue
shot through
by one golden hair,
two gigantic blackbirds,
two cannons:
my feet
were honored
in this way
by
these
celestial
socks.
They were
so beautiful
that for the first time
my feet seemed to me
unacceptable
like two decrepit
firemen, firemen
unworthy
of that embroidered
flame,
of those luminous
socks.

Nevertheless
I resisted
the sharp temptation
to guard them
the way schoolboys
keep
fireflies in a bottle,
the way scholars
collect
sacred documents,
I resisted
the furious impulse
to lock them
in a cage
of gold
and feed them each day
with birdseed
and morsels of pink melon.
Like explorers
who in the jungle
capture the rare
green deer
to roast it
and eat it
with remorse,
I stretched out
my feet
and pulled on
those
magnificent
socks
and
then my shoes.

So this is
the moral of my ode:
beauty is twice
beauty
and what is good is doubly
good
when it’s a matter of two
woolen socks
in winter.

piano lessons :: billy collins

1.
My teacher lies on the floor with a bad back
off to the side of the piano.
I sit up straight on the stool.
He begins by telling me that every key
is like a different room
and I am a blind man who must learn
to walk through all twelve of them
without hitting the furniture.
I feel myself reach for the first doorknob.

2.
He tells me that every scale has a shape
and I have to learn how to hold
each one in my hands.
At home I practice with my eyes closed.
C is an open book.
D is a vase with two handles.
G flat is a black boot.
E has the legs of a bird.

3.
He says the scale is the mother of the chords.
I can see her pacing the bedroom floor
waiting for her children to come home.
They are out at nightclubs shading and lighting
all the songs while couples dance slowly
or stare at one another across tables.
This is the way it must be. After all,
just the right chord can bring you to tears
but no one listens to the scales,
no one listens to their mother.

4.
I am doing my scales,
the familiar anthems of childhood.
My fingers climb the ladder of notes
and come back down without turning around.
Anyone walking under this open window
would picture a girl of about ten
sitting at the keyboard with perfect posture,
not me slumped over in my bathrobe, disheveled,
like a white Horace Silver.

5.
I am learning to play
“It Might As Well Be Spring”
but my left hand would rather be jingling
the change in the darkness of my pocket
or taking a nap on an armrest.
I have to drag him in to the music
like a difficult and neglected child.
This is the revenge of the one who never gets
to hold the pen or wave good-bye,
and now, who never gets to play the melody.

6.
Even when I am not playing, I think about the piano.
It is the largest, heaviest,
and most beautiful object in this house.
I pause in the doorway just to take it all in.
And late at night I picture it downstairs,
this hallucination standing on three legs,
this curious beast with its enormous moonlit smile.

Courtesy of S.L.

bottle beach: spring migration :: pamela gross

for Carol Spaw

Be glad
for this cold hour at daylight’s end, and
for the unexpected abundance
of shorebirds stopping
on their way through.

Late afternoon, they litter
the high tide’s edge with the rockshapes
of their bodies—
Plover, Dunlin, Red Knot, Dowitcher, Ruddy-Turnstone—
slick shadows, wet-cast in sand.

The waves here
thin to a palmstroke,
and the hand that carries these birds out
on the receding tide sweeps the beach clean.
No limpet’s emptied hat, no winkle’s staircase
split open on its spiral descent. . .
nothing written in kelp’s bullwhip scrawl.
No bottles on this beach
named for them.

Suppose
we found one. Imagine we dared
to pick it up, dared to read
the message locked inside. What if
we learned what we already suspect?
That our lives are subject to the same slippage
underfoot that bares this beach.

Or,
if we learned what we could never suspect.
That in less than eight weeks, the friend
who has directed us to this misnamed place
will lie down to rest and wake up
to a different erasure.

The name of each thing
washed away in her sleep: her thoughts
startled, lifting, banking away
in a single flock.

Journal of the American Medical Association. 2009;301(9):915.

Courtesy of S.L.

double poem of lake eden :: frederico garcía lorca

translated by greg simon and steven f. white

Our cattle graze, the wind sends forth its breath.
—GARCILASO

It was the voice I had before,
ignorant of the dense and bitter sap,
the one that came lapping at my feet
beneath the moist and fragile ferns.

Ay, my love’s voice from before,
ay, voice of my truth,
ay, voice of my open side,
when all the roses spilled from my tongue
and the grass hadn’t felt the horse’s impossible teeth!

Here you are drinking my blood,
drinking the humor of the child I was,
while my eyes are shattered by aluminum
and drunken voices in the wind.

Let me pass through the arch
where Eve devours ants
and Adam impregnates the dazzling fish.
Little men with horns, let me return
to the grove of easy living
and the somersaults of pure joy.

I know the best secret way
to use an old rusty pin,
I know the horror of eyes wide awake
on the concrete surface of a plate.

But I want neither world nor dream, divine voice,
I want my liberty, my human love
in the darkest corner of the breeze no one wants.
My human love!

Those sea-dogs chase each other
and the wind lies in ambush for careless tree trunks.
Oh, voice of before, let your tongue burn
this voice of tin and tale!

I want to cry because I feel like it—
the way children cry in the last row of seats—
because I’m not a man, not a poet, not a leaf,
only a wounded pulse that probes the things of the other side.

I want to cry saying my name,
rose, child, and fir on the shore of this lake,
to speak truly as a man of blood
killing in myself the mockery and suggestive power of the word.

No, no, I’m not asking, I’m telling you what I want,
my liberated voice lapping at my hands.
In the labyrinth of folding screens my nakedness receives
the punishing moon and the clock covered with ash.

I was speaking that way.
I was speaking that way when Saturn stopped the trains
and the fog and Dream and Death were looking for me.
Looking for me
where cattle with little feet of a page bellow
and my body floats between contrary equilibriums.

Courtesy of A.M.

pi :: wislawa szymborska

The admirable number pi:
three point one four one.
All the following digits are also just a start,
five nine two because it never ends.
It can’t be grasped, six five three five, at a glance,
eight nine, by calculation,
seven nine, through imagination,
or even three two three eight in jest, or by comparison
four six to anything
two six four three in the world.
The longest snake on earth ends at thirty-odd feet.
Same goes for fairy tale snakes, though they make it a little longer.
The caravan of digits that is pi
does not stop at the edge of the page,
but runs off the table and into the air,
over the wall, a leaf, a bird’s nest, the clouds, straight into the sky,
through all the bloatedness and bottomlessness.
Oh how short, all but mouse-like is the comet’s tail!
How frail is a ray of starlight, bending in any old space!
Meanwhile two three fifteen three hundred nineteen
my phone number your shirt size
the year nineteen hundred and seventy-three sixth floor
number of inhabitants sixty-five cents
hip measurement two fingers a charade and a code,
in which we find how blithe the trostle sings!
and please remain calm,
and heaven and earth shall pass away,
but not pi, that won’t happen,
it still has an okay five,
and quite a fine eight,
and all but final seven,
prodding and prodding a plodding eternity
to last.

In honor of 3/14, Pi Day!

russian letter :: john yau

It is said, the past
sticks to the present

like glue,
that we are flies

struggling to pull free
It is said, someone

cannot change
the clothes

in which
their soul

was born.
I, however,

would not
go so far

Nor am I Rembrandt,
master of the black

and green darkness,
the hawk’s plumes

as it shrieks
down from the sky

question :: may swenson

Body my house
my horse my hound
what will I do
when you are fallen

Where will I sleep
How will I ride
What will I hunt

Where can I go
without my mount
all eager and quick
How will I know
in thicket ahead
is danger or treasure
when Body my good
bright dog is dead

How will it be
to lie in the sky
without roof or door
and wind for an eye

With cloud for shift
how will I hide?

contemplation :: meredith root-bernstein

[poem for march 11, 2009]

I saw the fox squirrel sitting on the stand
of the sundial with the twig-shaped hand.
He sat still, his tail flung carelessly
forward over a shoulder. The make-do tree
overlooked bird feeder, lawn, and on this date
a flood of snow that seemed to sublimate.
A dim mist huddled by the scraggly wood;
I saw it mill about, precess, stir, rise. Could
we attribute to our squirrel some notion
predicated on, I don’t know, image, motion,
of the strangeness of this mist above snow,
as if the sky were un-snowing from below?
Can we name him some beauty or bewilderment
to see the sharp fuzz and the near went,
to feel far brittle branches’ caress and the press
of space nest into the mind? Intuit yes.

He clutches the twig-dial with little hands
like a helmsman prefiguring close lands.
His brain must be smaller than a walnut,
like his snow-footprints it must course its rut
from tree to tree to tree, from space to space,
along dip tense liquid pivot up bough, the race
and the swell of branch, dense push to earth,
paws spread-eagled on a big tree’s girth.
Suppose he thinks trees the same way I dress.
God knows I don’t conclude the sleeve, less
do I have a plan to remove a sweater.

I used to put on shirts, or dresses, better,
front to back, so I could seem them just
as they would look on me, just as I thrust
among their labyrinths. Dimly perplexed,
I was too involved in what would come next—
wearing the dress—to let one turn its back,
to wait, to hold foreknowledge in its track.
Another thing, when I was very small,
at eight after the amber lamp in the hall
was switched off, when the night-light shone,
I used to feel one of my digits grown
massive but weightless, a toe on the loom,
waxing, palpitating frontiers of the room.
Then obscurely it would erase, vaguely forgot.
I seem to remember it happening a lot.
I remember doing things I didn’t understand,
“taking notes” on Marco Polo in Samarkand,
clasping hands in prayer in kindergarten.
I heard names—Richelieu and Spartan—
with no meaning other than what I felt:
a quickening of the pulse, a rufous pelt
pinned with the soft gurgle of mother-of-pearl,
a brick cathedral, an oil-spill whorl;
something else angular and red-yellow,
emanating the pre-sound of sounding hollow.

The squirrel sitting on the primitive clock
is stuck between no hard place and no rock,
he changes and is morphous like the fog,
like the sundial he swoops, he has no cog,
no pause. He feels his tail hair on his fur,
he knows of numbness in his toes, the slur
of a breeze by his flank, and the warm
instantiatedness of insides. The form
of things drifts, particulates, rushes,
opaquifies, holds its breath, teeters, blows, hushes.
The squirrel feels out half-assumed stances,
tentative conjoined smells, small knit trances.
These sensations come to a head, to nought,
and the fox squirrel, innocent of thought,
stirs over his strange white domain, impels
his tiny realm from now to what now foretells.

From The New Yorker; March 9, 2009

Courtesy of S.L.

n :: maurya simon

Noon. I can connect nothing with nothing.
Perhaps even chaos is cause for celebration.

And perhaps the astrologers are right when they chart
one disaster, one propitious night, one happenstance

of glory to the next so they accrue like an alphabet
in the primer of each person’s life. I read my horoscope

each day, searching for the solitary clue, the sign
signalling my journey’s halt, when I might look up

at last into the stars, connect-the-dots—see, at once,
the bright Virgin standing steadfastly like a silver ship

docking among the midnight swarms, her left hand beckoning
to me, as if nothing floats between us but the world.

(100th post! 1,100+ views!)

the fabric of life :: kay ryan

It is very stretchy.
We know that, even if
many details remain
sketchy. It is complexly
woven. That much too
has pretty well been
proven. We are loath
to continue our lessons
which consist of slaps
as sharp and dispersed
as bee stings from
a smashed nest
when any strand snaps—

hurts working far past
the locus of rupture,
attacking threads
far beyond anything
we would have said
connects.

breakage :: mary oliver

I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It’s like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
full of moonlight.

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.

the laying on of hands :: danielle hope

Priests offered it in weekly benediction to bless
after chants and motets, in Eucharist
or Mass, to magnify a union or to heal
the sick. Doves were sometimes released.

Lovers do it too. The caress—careless or casual.
The home from work, the comfort me, or the moment
when hands become all scent and skin; the arch of wrist,
the smooth palm and pure white fingernail tip.

So doctors learned it, palpated sick limbs, gauged temperatures,
pulses; probed chests, abdomens and necks to fathom symptoms,
interrogate signs. But now machines seek better, deeper,
further, filling the walls with images, bright and cold.

Journal of the American Medical Association. 2009;301(4):360.

Courtesy of S.L.

skulls are so last year :: mark doty

(including half a line by Thomas McGrath)

Unattended money may be searched or destroyed

Woman in the doorway of Dunkin Donuts
reciting will you help me get
something to eat will you help me
get something to eat will you
help me get something

painful revision of WCW’s
modernist syntax of insistence

Please hold on money is leaving the station

In New York at five past money
many small vacancies open

Debt clock broke down whirling exhilarating
proliferation of zeroes we just don’t have
that many lightbulbs

Do not accept money from persons unknown to you

In New York at a quarter past money
I’d put my queer shoulder to the wheel if I could find it

Be careful when opening money as contents may have shifted

Put my shoulder to the wheel but I’d go tumbling
through the absence of value to the lack of a floor
flat on my face in this fiction of a symbol

That can itself be sold
or you can sell the absence of the symbol
bundle the absences and divide them among a multiplicity
build a whole towering extravagance

Something like the way in Tallin this month
the Estonion Philharmonic is holding a Festival of Perfect Silence
so we are planning to celebrate the completed

Vanished tower of abstract money

A little reminiscent of that fading fashion for vertical foods in restaurants
an edible structure that would allow your meal to rise from your plate
toward you mirror an entire economic architecture shimmying upward

Into the thinning atmosphere the most tenuous needles of money

Any maybe why today the barrista who’s charging me
do you want cash back with that
wears around her neck a cameo
no antique by a sly parodic black oval
upon which a coral-red skull and crossbones are looming

That’s why skulls were everywhere last year
on jean pockets backpacks wallets china your wristwatch

Sign of piracy

Would you like another transaction

Yesterday, S.L. and I went to a reading by Mark Doty. He shared this poem, which is part of Starting Today: Poems For the First 100 Days. Check it out!

normalization :: czesław miłosz

translated by clare cavanagh

This happened long ago, before the onset
of universal genetic correctness.

Boys and girls would stand naked before mirrors
studying the defects of their structure.

Nose too long, ears like burdocks,
sunken chin just like a mongoloid.

Breasts too small, too large, lopsided shoulders,
penis too short, hips too broad or else too narrow.

And just an inch or two taller!

Such was the house they inhabited for life.

Hiding, feigning, concealing defects.

But somehow they still had to find a partner.

Following incomprehensible tastes—airy creatures
paired with potbellies, skin and bones enamored of salt pork.

They had a saying then: “Even monsters
have their mates.” So perhaps they learned to tolerate their partners’
flaws, trusting that theirs would be forgiven in turn.

Now every genetic error meets with such
disgust that crowds might spit on them and stone them.

As happened in the city of K., where the town council
voted to exile a girl

So thickset and squat
that no stylish dress could ever suit her,

But let’s not year for the days of prenormalization.
Just think of the torments, the anxieties, the sweat,
the wiles need to entice, in spite of all.

a display of mackerel :: mark doty

They lie in parallel rows,
on ice, head to tail,
each a foot of luminosity

barred with black bands,
which divide the scales’
radiant sections

like seams of lead
in a Tiffany window.
Iridescent, watery

prismatics: think abalone,
the wildly rainbowed
mirror of a soapbubble sphere,

think sun on gasoline.
Splendor, and splendor,
and not a one in any way

distinguished from the other
—nothing about them
of individuality. Instead

they’re all exact expressions
of the one soul,
each a perfect fulfilment

of heaven’s template,
mackerel essence. As if,
after a lifetime arriving

at this enameling, the jeweler’s
made uncountable examples,
each as intricate

in its oily fabulation
as the one before
Suppose we could iridesce,

like these, and lose ourselves
entirely in the universe
of shimmer—would you want

to be yourself only,
unduplicatable, doomed
to be lost? They’d prefer,

plainly, to be flashing participants,
multitudinous. Even now
they seem to be bolting

forward, heedless of stasis.
They don’t care if they’re dead
and nearly frozen,

just as, presumably,
they didn’t care that they were living:
all, all for all,

the rainbowed school
and its acres of brilliant classrooms,
in which no verb is singular,

or every one is. How happy they seem,
even on ice, but together, selfless,
which is the price of gleaming.

i ask the impossible :: ana castillo

I ask the impossible: love me forever.
Love me when all desire is gone.
Love me with the single-mindedness of a monk.
When the world in its entirety,
and all that you hold sacred, advise you
against it: love me still more.
When rage fills you and has no name: love me.
When each step from your door to your job tires you—
love me; and from job to home again.

Love me when you’re bored—
when every woman you see is more beautiful than the last,
or more pathetic, love me as you always have:
not as admirer or judge, but with
the compassion you save for yourself
in your solitude.

Love me as you relish your loneliness,
the anticipation of your death,
mysteries of the flesh, as it tears and mends.
Love me as your most treasured childhood memory—
and if there is none to recall—
imagine one, place me there with you.
Love me withered as you loved me new.

Love me as if I were forever—
and I will make the impossible
a simple act,
by loving you, loving you as I do.

Courtesy of C.A.

shapes :: ruth stone

In the longer view it doesn’t matter.
However, it’s that having lived, it matters.
So that every death breaks you apart.
You find yourself weeping at the door
of your own kitchen, overwhelmed
by loss. And you find yourself weeping
as you pass the homeless person
head in hands resigned on a cement
step, the wire basket on the wheels right there.
Like stopped film, or a line of Vallejo,
or a sketch of the mechanics of a wing
by Leonardo. All pauses in space,
a violent compression of meaning
in an instant within the meaningless.
Even staring into the dim shapes
at the farthest edge; accepting that blur.