I know, to entice, to convince, I must sing Your ear inside stone, must sing Gold bitten and true, the corn kernel, one seed, I must plant one gold seed in your mouth with my lips. Raleigh says: the Queen knows my name. The Crown Of a woodpecker is ruby, but shy. Inhabitants adorn themselves with feathers, and feathers Bright on arrow ends. Bow--before a Queen. Bend closed my book. The page is deaf that turns back to look at what it found.
I could not stop my hands clapping. I clapped
And clapped. I clapped as in the dirt the bird collapsed,
As worms grew wings, I clapped.
A man stood in a river balancing
A grape on his lips. His tears fell in the current
Swept them away. He kept performing
His trick: grape hovering over the hole
Of his open mouth and never dropping in.
I clapped and I could not stop
My hands from wanting to cover my mouth
But they would not. They clapped
And I listened to them clap—a noise
That if there were woods would echo in
The woods. But there were no woods
I could see. Only a man. Twigs in his hair.
Bent over the water where the water stood
Most still. A tree fell in the woods—
He kept speaking to his own face—
Is true if and only if a tree fell in the
Woods is true if and only if—
He kept speaking to his face in the water
As I clapped, applauding the logic
That needed no belief. Like the shadows
Of bird’s wings, the shadows of my hands
On the ground. If there were birds
I could believe in
the birds so I let myself look up.
One bird kept exploding in the sky.
One flower kept dying. Isn’t it happy? a child asked,
Everything eating the sun? Isn’t it
Happy? Isn’t it—she asked, laying down
On her back in the grass—happy?
Everything eating the sun? Isn’t it—