MEDITATION: CONFESSIONS, BOOK X

Touch is distraction. Light is distraction. Sound

    when the source of vibration is not the sung

but song itself. How to fix the heart like a mosquito

    in amber? How to isolate curls of incense

from the miasma? Large, larger, largest—therein

    lies the mistake. As though the superlative were

separable from the meager. As though the mind were

    never rendered legible and sold in cheap stalls

along a wind-stippled river. As though there were

    ever anything to sing about, in tavern or cathedral

except the prismatic I made audible in your throat.

 

THE LIGHT OUTSIDE THIS WINDOW IS NO LIGHT

6 a.m.—a promise of motion, a promise
to keep moving until something opens, though

nothing does    nothing this morning but a dull
glint at the bottom of consciousness, no hinge but

two brittle plates and a misshapen bolt
tossed among potsherds and votaries in the slow

friction of shifting sand    and the light outside
this window is no light, but water undissolved in air

the weather no weather, but a climate of rust and need
the river’s sluggish freight of leaves, and over that

like bald nerves, faint branches.

 

Virginia M. Heatter will be pursuing an M.F.A. at Cornell University in the fall. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, The Literary Review, 32 Poems, FUGUE, Cranky, and has been reprinted online at Poetry Daily.

 

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