Thursday, July 22, 2010

59. The Act of the Art of Folding

Folding the sheet,
the blanket, the towel, folding
the shirt, the bedspread, the sock,

or folded closed and
away. All that sunlight
left on the counter. What
will you do with it?

Fold it into a towel, fold
it into an airplane, a crane,
a star. That will do,
for a start, and maybe in this way
you can make something
of sunlight, make something
out of it, of it.

It seems usual and yellow but
not yellow at all (or not yet) and
unusually palpable, almost
sticky on your fingertips, almost
buttery, without
being yellow, except
to the touch.

The white towel seems
a little yellow in the white sunlight,
maybe just a little yellow
towel, to wipe a hand with,
to wipe your hands after
you wipe the sticky sunlight
off the counter, after
you wipe it all way

until it is night
and crickety, filled with
the creaking of insects, the air
almost wet with
their voices that slip in
through the screens. It is
your only friend after a hot day,

and you fold
the pleats of the curtains
in and out, fold the night
into itself. You fold the dining room
tablecloth into a cube, you keep
the cube in a box, you wrap the box
in paper and mail it to tomorrow,

but it is only today,
it is only ever today, in the way
that you are always where you are,
so you can never go missing. No matter
how hard your family looks
for you, you are never missing.

Even if you hid under
the deepest sunlight, you would never
go missing, you would always
be there. It is for this reason
that you are known by
your first name, it is in this way
that you came to the realization that
everything folded

is inside-out, that everything outside is
what you hold
within yourself: sound of a cricket,
heat of the sunlight, the scent of terrycloth
after a good drying, flavor of a margarita,
the feel of folding

and folding away, and the way that
unfolding is a kind of folding, how
everything folds out from the crease
of the fold, the hinge

of an idea, what opens up
into something bigger than whatever
we folded away we put away
in a drawer of shadow, as if
the darkness could hold in place
the sunlight, which,
as we all know, travels
through darkness to
wherever it goes,

even here.

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