Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics

Rosaly DeMaios Roffman: What Are We Supposed To Do On This Earth

After not speaking for days and days

the voice comes out a brilliant little square

to remind you of the geometry of sound

And you go no louder no matter how you try

with your dwarf-man voice–and I’m trying not

to watch you, friend, reading about desert fathers

and the many holy ways we recognize absence; death,

the cedar waxwing buried in the tree by a door, death,

the province of every person who negotiates laughter

.

Borges at the end tells us in a line of a small poem

“There are books in my library I know I’ll never open

again” And it saddens me as I conjure up his photograph

with those eyes too large for anyone’s intelligent face,

and since he was blind at the end, once-seeing, like Matisse

or Renoir, what I want to say to you, is not change your life,

but count those nameless flowers that open beneath you

with some sense of their end before they hear budding

.

The message is not about louder, it is about closer


 

Copyright 2017 Rosaly DeMaios Roffman

.

Jorge Luis Borges

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