Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Rose — Charlie Smith.

I’m looking everywhere for new ways,
poking, selecting, looking everywhere,
turning the trees over, rummaging among skirts
and stars. I’m so lonely and intense, so
tense and energetic, I’m getting up early
to touch the slick habit of ice on the windowsill,
to touch dust and the dried blue berries of juniper.
I’m shaking and scared of life,
and of the absence of life, childless, love
buried out in the prairie far from here
under the shifty grass; I’m watching the white birds
drift up from the south, reading the last lights
in the tall buildings like lines of white type
spelling the future, I’m into everything
haphazardly and wholly, revenant and pilgrim,
I’m looking as I go and I go formally and
rapidly, moving through gales of solitude,
through crowds and the cries of young children;
I’m tasting, I’m smelling everything, I’m
stooping in Chinatown to lick the boots of
the Buddhists, I’m pressing my bare skin
to the ancient stone designs of artisans lost
to the world; I’m looking everywhere, I’m alert,
I’m open like a child’s blue coat as he runs,
I’m ready for bronze and happiness, I’m gamely
adjusting the water level, I’m forgiving it all,
telling it all, hearing it all, I’m ready
for fake silk patches spilling from envelopes,
I’m ready for a “vague splintering of rain,”
ready—I’m looking everywhere—for a delicate means
of transition, I’m stumbling against
beauty and not apologizing, I’m almost naked here,
skinnier than I used to be, almost helpless
or maybe I’m completely helpless as the religious
say is the way to heaven—all right I’m helpless—
I’m swaying on the platform, I’m tenderly
toasting the bread, I’m placing the saucer,
the spoon on the tray, I’m arranging the rose,
I’m pulling the curtain, I’m letting light flood the room.

Charlie Smith

1 comment:

Katie said...

Really, really great.