Nocturne (Lasciare Sonare)
Sharp shard of another day,
another post dawn, another wreckage
of dew and dew drop, the whole shellacked as if glass were
on the inside of everything,
even the air between sky and eye,
the entire world waiting to crack along its fractures,
falling the way the soul falls into its own dispersal.
How, we ask,
can so much break all at once?
Somewhere a fire burns like a star
along the edge of what we cannot know,
and yet still we rise like the flame of a bent candle
into the empty cathedral of our routine.
the old cul-de-sac of sorrow and silence.
We circle around our loss like a shell on a grant of sand.
What if just once we were not erased by our own absence?
O lost pilgrim,
what if your journey begins with this word?
What if a song written for you long ago can only now be heard?
Suppose someone whispers your name in her nightly prayer?
And suppose inside every prayer is another prayer,
within every word another word,
an infinite ladder of letters always climbing back into each other,
and suppose within every song is another song,
inside each note another note
a second sound, a secret sound,
and suppose that within all signs are more signs
and inside each line a line of lines, a furrow of lines, a field of lines?
I believe we draw and are drawn into the ink of our unlived lives.
I believe we are echo and trace,
both string and bow.
when the light lays down its knives,
and darkness, the weariest maestro,
picks up its baton,
you will know the music the dead left you has begun.
Off in the distance,
beyond the choir of cricket-thrum and wind-whir,
beyond the triage of traffic slog and the dark drone of device,
there is nothing but the past,
asleep on its black pillow
but keep listening
the little bell of the self is ready to ring.
Works in preparation for 2018 exhibition at the Jewett Gallery, San Francisco Public Library