A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Old philosophers would call this look melancholia,
but I see in this photo of my wife thinking
weathers of competing beauty,
someone who can be in two places at once:
there on the couch, leaning into the cushion folds
and somewhere else focused on the unseen,
beyond the clock’s exhausting rap,
working an idea like dough into the necessary bread.
All moments of clarity narrow like this,
the periphery dimmed as in a Rembrandt,
his “Philosopher in Meditation” sitting in a shaft of light
as if at the bottom of a well, because the profound
leads into dark places, like the ocean floor where
the only light comes from the bodies of fish
swimming through its miles of perpetual night.
Copyright 2018 Michael T. Young. First published in Askew and included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.
Michael T. Young’s latest book is The Infinite Doctrine of Water published by Terrapin Books.