Prolonging the act of crying to enjoy a musical sound

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The light the afternoon
blesses blesses the walls
with their stone and
plaster, these colors of love
I think are marvelous.
It gets bright, gets brighter.
What is changes
not by my seeing
any of it. If my world
does not demand the animate
I’ll watch whatever
devour itself. I will take
good notes on tree things.
I have been
in love with a cloth.


syncope (SING-kə-pee) n. 1. Loss of consciousness due to insufficient blood flow to the brain. 2. The omission of certain sounds or letters in the interior of a word (as in “probly” for probably, or “ne’er” for never).

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As a drug for the mind at peace,
as release, as attar to a hand
dropped on the garden path, the pitch of dusk
(a gray field surmounted by the heart),
as error, an error in the heart, the breath, and also
what the breath forgot.

As highways, a dozen on an off day, and slipped
as sleeve comes down and at the wrist,
as anywhere you like your executioner,
as erudite as anvils, and ankles, and now at last
and left behind, or blinded. Which is just
as you wanted it: your whelm, your lift,

your as-asked-for sweet elision.


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At some point in the fog I realized I had been trusting I still could see the one in front of me, and only in realizing this did I see that I could not. Like how I heard a rolling hum of air or music constant in my periphery until I noticed that the ringing was only my own, my ear, and it kept little time. So when a comfort that had been had been the way I felt a hand held in my own, warm and living—and now my hand held air—the best thing left, night falling as it was, was to stand in fog and blame myself. And I blamed myself and blamed myself, loud and low, until it made a song. 


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Look: that field goes moon
and winsome every time my
eyes turn to its grasses,

many and available. I know
and so am mired in list-
making, those mirrors. See—

field, sky, wall, anvil. Look: if all
of us are one, can it matter
where I choose to lay

a tenderness? God,
imagination. Youth recalled.
The rasp of ocean outside

in cold July. Can it
matter? Sweetness of
the light upon her,

she who I
desired so much I already
have forgotten

her name. To be human
is I think to slip between.
What can it matter,

then, to find in myself
the stirrings of a song? What,
being part no matter what

of the one
common truth, my energy
among the many, all

of us who wake
on the same road, slurring
our sounds, proceeding

to the same lake?

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