The Nightingale

Although the horror of the nightingale,
the holy nightingale who sings unheard,
invisible and strident in the gale
beyond the tree of stars, is just a word
or region of epistemology,
I wake to it like breakfast when my eye
of pus is washed to meet the ecstasy
of day. Horror is never far: the dry
biology of insect hope, the moth
trapping the moon, the wasp of solitude
amid the panting of the air, the cloth
of flying worms. And yet I always hear
the secret of the nightingale, deluding
me. Invisibly I’m almost here.

From Mexico In My Heart: New And Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2015) by Willis Barnstone. Copyright © 2015 by Willis Barnstone. Used with the permission of the author.