Thursday, February 10, 2011

262. The Americans Have a Billion Words for Falling Snow

The sky in blue comes out
but also into your eyes
and I go out into the snow.

Quite a cold night
and I am wondering
because I cannot walk now
without any purpose
or as if lost. I am
wondering what the poem
could make of me,
what my poem could ever
make of you.

I once had words for singing
but I save them now for sheets
and dreaming between the lines.
I once had words for drawing
but I use them now only to fill in
the spaces between inconsistencies.
I once had words for writing
but I collect them into bundles
and wrap them with cottony thoughts.

A word will
let you down
but not easy.
Take a stack
of them and
hit against the
ear of someone
and you’ll feel
the weight of
words you use.

Trapped by words
I use words to make some sense
of me, to send some sense out
of me of the sense I mean to make,
or of what sense I can make of
the sense I mean to make with words.
You use words to hold some thought
of what a thought a person might lob
towards you, and you might hit it
back if you didn’t have an inkling
(the tiniest black word on a page)
that you didn’t want to touch it.

The night, should we believe
its outward signs, is cold and dark,
but not so dark as it might be,
because it sits on a thick mattress of white
snow, cold in and of itself, but bright
under the smallest source of illumination,
houselight falling from these windows,
streetlight falling from over the fence,
starlight dripping down, and my face
is against the bright white snow
and all I see is white like sunlight
poured over my eyes.

Cautious are the birds in winter
and the squirrels, whose homes
rest far out on the thin and floating braches
of trees and who must investigate
the snow for sustenance. Cautious
because they do not use words, cautious
as everyone who doesn’t use words,
and everything. Those of us too much
worded, wordy, of words, and never
wordless, are those who are careless,
not with words, but with life,
with a single life, our own, who live
recklessly, uncaring that our words
might not go right, might not fit,
who speak in words, who write the same,
whose dreams are dreamt right out
and through with words, but
never through with them.

If your eyes
were the color
of the sky,
at this moment
they would be
black and glossy,
a deep tunnel
of black running
right back through
into that part
of your head
where you use
every word you
ever have had.

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