On a Photograph of Sky on the Surface of a Pond Seen Through a Tree and Therefore, By Extension, On Magnetic Resonance Imaging
The thinness of things
is real and holds itself like the only breath
an image can take.
The tree digs through the sky.
On the other side its heart
emerges upside down but still centered
between the branching out
and the taking root. Your life
like a branch occupying space
in a photograph showing neither
its beginning or end
the pond’s surface surely capturing it
somewhere outside the frame
where I cannot see what you see
only the empty sky beneath the tree line
and an image breathing out
to a moment it will never see: a leaf
rippling depth across the landscape
On a long journey. The road darkened like glass
after the candle behind it has guttered.
I met the forest there like a corner rounding everywhere.
Birds who’d never heard themselves before were asking
for their names. Though we could hear the train beyond the ridge
we knew it was empty except for a woman anxious
she’d missed her stop as she dozed. We walked but I could not hear
your step behind me over the sound of the leaves growing.
I am tracking a number in the dark. It keeps changing typeface
to throw me off the trail but it is the only set of tracks ahead of me.
Even as I slow down I am accelerating. Your own footsteps
are catching up to me but I am afraid the number ahead will tire
at last and I will catch it, panting on a hip-high rock among the pine.
I should go back to the woods in the daytime, who ever thought
you were nocturnal, and in the light splaying
among the leaves I am not afraid of numbers.
In the Month of Your Birthday
Mid-afternoon storm hours behind me, on the walk home.
Slight breeze triggers rain in the maple, cascading
leaf to leaf in the layers of small shadowed sky, not a memory
of rain but the actual rain, retained, in the vast shadows, actually
falling, and isn’t memory an actual thing moving in a real space,
and like the rain in this maple, not touching the ground.
Thoughts As I Wait for the Thunder Moon to Appear
Chuang Tzu asked, why is what the world does worth doing?
The thunder moon which I cannot see teaches me that it is unavoidable.
Regardless of all that I know and do not know, it is launched without slowing
over the clouds. As the arrival of clouds cannot be avoided, neither can the departure
of clouds. It may not be worth doing, Chuang Tzu said. And yet
it cannot be left undone. I am looking without seeing, Chuang Tzu,
and it may be enough that I am no longer looking for the moon.
In the quiet, unseeable, the small chicory flower unfolds towards dawn.
As the departure of life cannot be avoided, neither can its arrival.
When the moon’s no longer needed, clouds break open like blue petals.