A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Christ gazing up from a page in Matthew
meeting my eyes, telling me to look within,
for where your treasure is there will your heart be also.
What could I say to such endlessness spilling over me
from long before being human was ever considered?
What miracles will the prophet of the hummingbird proclaim?
I wander about in one life looking for eternity in the next,
a blind man following a light he cannot put out.
Only when I was content to remain alone
did you open your arms to me.
Now I lead you by the hand,
never knowing if you are before or behind me.
Is it true the moment of my dying (which has borrowed
so much brightness from the sun) will demand
such satisfaction from me that I will be
blinded by my own last words?
Too many words
trying to fly
out of my mouth at the same time.
Do I weigh down
the grey shell on the grey snail’s back
with the sound of my voice?
The abyss is not so much the absence of a place
as absence of deceit,
like light falling down
the neck of a girl that might take a painter
a season of late afternoons to catch.
It is still afternoon. The light refuses to stay and refuses to go away.
Driving along back roads
across the dead cold cotton fields,
in the early darkness of the three-quarter moon—
some gentleness upon me,
yellow dust following the wind it looks to be leading.
Copyright 2018 Louie Skipper. From The Work Ethic of the Common Fly (Settlement House, 2018)