Now the sky above New Mexico
is hazy with Los Angeles, what words
will you invent for clarity?
Some things were always nameless:
the heart as a rainbarrel,
the ear a long-stemmed glass.
The fiddle is still maple turned with starlight,
the bow, breath with a backbone,
sweet with sap.
That long trill
is a hand that lifts your hair
a final time, sunlight, a last kiss
that knows it is the last.
And the phrase that follows:
a small voice talking to itself, how
some moments are so huge
you notice only little things:
nicks in the tabletop, the angle of a fork.
is what you will have
rain’s vowelless syntax,
how mathematics was an elegy,
the slenderness of trees.
Contemplative amid the tiny details of a moment, of an existence. Really beautiful, just the words and their structure alone. The line “some moments are so huge you notice only little things” is the type of transcendental and ageless statement that—I imagine—might puncture the veins of a bored, cliche-weary cynic, if only for a moment.
Honestly, if I somehow had an opportunity to speak in a few weeks at the corner of Church and Vesey in lower Manhattan, I would offer the crowd these elegiac verses.