There, there! Though I never asked for this flatness
or to be so efficiently dismissed—
no lanterns floated on my temporary lake,
no time for the cream to form continents, calve icebergs,
and no one says of my demise, a library was lost—
still I have known the sluggish bottom of the bottle
and the dead chill of the cooler, can recall
startlements of light as I rang like money in the pail
and before that, warmth and dimness
and the deeply thrumming pipes that bore my substance
from Meadow, sun clouded in bugs, through nonbeing
to a kind of splendor, even transcendence:
in perfect continuity with my surroundings, white light
poured into white light. And whole. And held.
I could tell the people a thing or two about despair.
Haven’t I spilled, controlled, each morning
past the stark looming letters that foretell
the curdling and the old-age smell?
But I know too that annihilation
means only to be packed again into the egg.
Prismatic, I will split and realign.
Behold the road that opens in mid-air,
the sudden and familiar loss of shape,
the wet slap my skin makes against the grain.
No tears, no tears! That cup was not my home.
I wore and then outgrew it like a shoe.
The world’s distilled to an infinite plane.
It’s happened before. I will get through.
[A year in poems— March entry]