Something New Under the Sun

Steve Scafidi
It would have to shine. And burn. And be 
a sign of something infinite and turn things 
and people nearby into their wilder selves 
and be dangerous to the ordinary nature of 
signs and glow like a tiny hole in space

to which a god presses his eye and stares. 
Or her eye. Some divine impossible stretch 
of the imagination where you and I are one. 
It would have to be something Martin Buber 
would say and, seeing it, point and rejoice.

It could be the mouth of a Coca-Cola bottle 
or two snakes rolling down a mountain trail. 
It would have to leap up out of the darkness 
of a theater and sing the high silky operatic 
note of someone in love. And run naked

slender fingers through the hair of a stranger, 
or your mother or father, or grandfather, or 
a grassy hill in West Virginia. It would live 
on berries and moss like a deer and roam 
the woods at night like the secret life of

the woods at night and when the sun rises you 
could see it and think it is yours and that 
would be enough and it would come to you 
as these words have come to me--slowly, 
tenderly, tangibly. Shy and meanderingly.

More by Steve Scafidi

Pieta

Before she is turned away
  for the last time in the moment
before the new world begins
  harrowing her like a field

and the sun and moon disappear
  and the stars and the houses
suddenly become illustrations
  in a book no longer to be

believed burning to ashes—
  before the earth beneath her
rises up through her body
  slowly, every green cell

yellowing in the aftermath—
  just before this begins and
it begins constantly over
  and over in the secret nucleus

of mothers quietly humming
  at every second continuously
she breathes the odor of honey,
  his hair still the odor of honey.

Elegy for the Shenandoah River

at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 

The rivers meet become one and disappear
At the sea and the young find the solace
Of drugs and fucking. Falling-in-love

Is the story they tell later living a while
Maybe in misery or in joyful fits
Of circumstance dying off eventually

Leaving behind the meanings they made
Which dissolve in the rain over eons:
Houses and books and machines starting

To drizzle back into atoms loose like
Fires in the green bombast of the hillsides
And the town of Harpers Ferry and its

Brick walls full of bullets will go like this
River of forgetfulness where I am swimming
Tonight among the boulders in the cold

Because I am drunk and alone and hoping
To die to drown to be carried suddenly up
Side down blue screaming in the waters

Which has happened enough that death is part
Of what we celebrate here in the National Parks:
A perfect place to lie your body down in the dark.