Sport 31: Spring 2003
A brightness illuminates my heart,
like two pots of tea, drunk quick.
In the Botanical Gardens
the daffodils are pushing through
and the river walks along beside,
guides me like a toreador
with flashes of light
is imprinted in my hands.
The gist of all my meaning
is kept here, and everything
can be understood
in the quick at the turning-point
of the joint of wrist or finger.
I hold my hands out from me
as if they are holding light
as if this might be taken from me.
The smell of honey
is as good a place to start as any.
The rhododendrons sweetened
in summer, ‘turning in the wind’.
The sound of leaves and the smell
were mine, as close as skin on fingers.
I once thought identity was in the recesses,
I was hopeful for the body's flaw.
Yet, it seems the impulse
is replace or cover over.
(A piece has gone,
the fluid pooling in …
a fast tide is faster than horses,
they say, faster than thought is.)
And see: the severed arm jerks and itches,
the amputee scratches.
But what is gone is no longer mine.
The sound of leaves, the smell of honey.
Like the person alone in an empty room,
who pulls the curtains open and then shut.
At one moment the world is there,
the next it's not.
The hands of leaves are up
and clapping at each window.
Bravo! You are better than them!
Better, better than all the rest!
Spiders in webs at corners also applauding.
The noise—it near to deafens—
will drive you through the house.
Down from the quiet sky
the slow curtain is slipping.
You take your waist-bent bow.