More than you have
go by without mercy, their sweet flutings
calling you onward through meadows you
will forget you ever wept in? Do you see
now that what passes for memory is but
a sentence in a life well-lived, not in mere
luxury, but in the siege of days relentless
in their waste-laid madness that kiss sweet
butter between the folds of salt-strewn hours
that in the end serve to bitter the brazen heart?
Do you see? Do you see now how the skin
dims autumn in the naked light of love?
Do you see the cruel gift of youth that will
keep your eyes for its legacy, that there is
no looking away or back without seeing
you never really lived it at all, that what
you did, at best, was approximate a moment?
Like when we pass a dirt road that leads to
a chapterhouse in Indian country, that to turn
up that road you will need more than you have.
Do you see? Do you see now that every mirror
in your life was a liar, that every pond that held
you so dear to its glassy surface spun a wild tale
of princes and princesses that you were never a
part of? And do you see that we must look, we
must look anyway, that to not do so deeply is to
lay red aces on a sleeveless table, the guns drunk,
the parlor moll willing, the tap open and boring
holes through glasses without bottoms and all you
need do is drink and hold on for dear, dear life.
April 27, 2013