Old baseball glove,
toy of the blind kid.
Who sniffed its oiled leather,
who could not use it.
Sometimes he’d cry into it.

Do you understand that dark joy?



In the monastery at Velamo
I took a sauna with a monk
Who was one hundred years old
In the steam his skin smelled
like strawberries.
“What do you like to eat?” I asked.
“Strawberries,” he said.



He spends his life
Believing there’s another
Standing on his own shoulders
Looking out to sea.



I love the horse at Lascaux
So unsecured and fast
Legs vanishing
Even as we look
No one to tame her
Only the river’s light



Write poems in the mornings
Pour out yesterday’s tea
Think of Helen Keller
Who dove into life as
A cormorant hits the sea
The speed of that dive
Me? I entered this world
Already lost, having come
From Mithraic light
Whose sun falls across these pages

Copyright © 2024 by Stephen Kuusisto. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 12, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.