Emerson Susquehanna (iii. then may God fire...with...presence.”)

And you can never catch it
                                                            nor make it still

and so it is like thought in this
                                                  or weather

that you might live within it
                                                or by its constraints

but never touch it—
                                and there is the sorrow

it will never know you

though you feel all winter
                                          the shiver of how it never hesitates

in touching you.
                            Or, said another way :

it snowed all day and into the night.
                                                             The view developed

slowly like a photograph
                                           in a bath of chemicals—

what began as white
                                    grew whiter

by virtue of contrast
                                    until it seemed overexposed

so little shadow was left
                                          like a sentence revised too often.

What happens is the mind
                                             travels outward

because it wants to be the soul it has heard tell of.
                                                                                    Nervous work

like a bird—sky and power line, garbage can, underbrush—
                                                                                                it goes to them;

it intends itself toward oily black seeds
                                                                    toward reflections

in ice and in glass
                                    and it goes to the wind

and is shut out
                           which is no one’s home.

Ever leave-taking,
                               action is its only description :

each shadow on the lamp-lit street
                                                          seeming to rush—molting out of itself—

each upward
                         to snow—

multitude of hurry, confusion—midair
                                                            to meet the idea that made it—

From Sight Map (University of California Press, 2009) by Brian Teare. Copyright © 2009 by Brian Teare. Used with the permission of the poet.