We are the lay of the land— / pocked, hilled, knowing every ember / and seed imprinted on our bones.
While he was in jail, two policemen / came to his apartment, took / all his books, sat at his kitchen table / drinking his coffee, and cut out / the forbidden words: kitchen / was first to go;
There were two sets of stairs: the front ones curving and formal while the backstairs rose steep as a canyon wall. As a girl, I used to fly from their heights when I wasn’t falling.
The amaryllis bulb, dumb as dirt, inert, how can anything spring from this clod, this stone, the pit of some subtropical, atypical, likely inedible fruit?
We all knew it would come.
Someday. Always later.
It comes for us all. Sure.
We know that. Someday.
But when someday draws near
for someone you love
whose silenced breath sears
your lungs with flames of grief
and sobs so immense
How dare the sun ascend?
The stars to shine?
Even the yeast to rise!
Eschewing perfection, they knotted in a flaw,
the human signature and kink that made
the carpet whole -- not less perfect, but more
for the fraying edge, the bleeding dyes
that cloak their treasure in disguise,
an act of indirection modeled from on high:
as when the Deity said Be ...
and out crawled -- the twisted,
the crippled, the deformed.
(for Daniel Berrigan on his ninetieth birthday)
The purpose of poetry is to remind us
how difficult it is to remain just one person,
for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors,
In our city we see them sometimes.
Touched your hem / A thousand times / A face just / Beyond my sight / Space between / Grace, grief