Tonight I wanted to write a poem about a young girl who
chases a kite or a balloon or a scarf off the side of a mountain,
plummeting to her death.
The poem I was going to write had to do with the way we all,
at one time or another, have wanted something
as desperately as this.
Li Po, 61, drunk, jumps from his boat – looking for the reflection of
the moon or the stars or a fish in the Yangtze River –
sinking toward an unknown burial.
The fish I was going to write about were going to be as ancient as the moon
or as old as Li Po, or the girl who was twelve years old
going on infinite.
I was going to write about the way we all, at one time, have wanted
something as badly as the girl running after a flag or an umbrella or
a distant airplane, or toward her own destiny of grief;
how all of us have at some time been as desperate as this.
Then I glanced at the mountain of books beside my bed, at the laundry
huddled in the corner of the room like a judgment: all of the
ordinary signs of a full and crowded life that is branded invisibly
by dirt and quiet disregard.
I walked outside along the landing, into the darkness
as old as the stars that weren’t there.
I thought of the mountains, and of the moon reflected in the sea somewhere.
I thought of the laundry in the bedroom and the books that will be waiting
tomorrow and the day after
for someone to bring them to life again.
*this poem is published in Gorrilla Troop Press, summer volume & in the forthcoming edition of FrankMatter, September 2013