There is the question
of bearing witness, of being yourself seen
by yourself, & seen clearly, cleanly,
without weapon or bible in hand;
as this was the wish,
the sturdy & not-so-secret wish
of those who named us—
our parents wanted us to be
known to ourselves without confusion:
sans suffering. Never force it,
they said, always find it.
OK, strictly speaking, that’s not entirely true.
My particular, sole, insistent, moody mother & father
probably never thought much about it at all.
Those two anxious citizens,
they were never exemplars of patience.
The weightlessness of detachment & acceptance
as I think of it now
would have frightened them—
for good reason.
If you could see these words
I’m speaking to you tonight printed on a page
as typeface & magnified x 500
you would feel just how ragged & coarse
they really are, heavy.
Well, playing the part of a butterfly
must be tiring, right?
I’m happier being the old ox, right?
On some plane of existence
these two scraps are all my news:
where the mess is
that’s where my heart is.