Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Book of Sudden Life

There is everywhere to go when you stay
in one place. I enter the door you open.
I stand where you are when you stand with me.
There is always the sound of the seabirds
at noon. If I were there what would we make
if it’s not too late, and if it is we may
still try. There are many kinds of weather
where you are. I bring my own, which is no
better, my ice on your tongue and your heat
filling me because I fill you and one
balances the other. If I could stay,
sun would glow all night and even the moon
would warm our sleep. I cannot tell you how
I came to this but there are the books
where I gathered you, and you me, and closed
between covers what no one is given
to read, its name The Book of Sudden Life.

So no one knows where this book can be found.
Only you. Look in your heart’s rooms. See there?
Appoint them with all that love cushions close
to your body when you let it free you
to breathe with me through the netting you brought
from your other country. What we bring stays
until one or the other may be filled
and if both are, it’s called, finally, love.
Or until one or the other has held
all the love, all the life we are given.
The end does not mean beginnings never
return, if this book is the only one
to arrive after all the others have
been read. I stay half the night with you,
you with me the other. There are creatures
sleep here we do not know are here until
morning, if luck is our daily portion.
They live like any being that will die.
Why look for the name you already know?

If I’m the soul in my skin, here it is.
Take it. Give it back to me when you want
or once you have tracked this voice to its source.
No matter, love. I wanted you that much.
If I knew how to keep you, the creature
I am, the fire would fly through my fingers
like any blaze whose sparks leap from your eyes.
Tell me of the land where we are. Do you
toss gulls scraps of bread they can pluck from air?
Do the fish leap here? How do men love you?

(31 March 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

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