"When your eyes have done their part, Thought must length it in the heart." —Samuel Daniel . . . Thought lengths it, pulls an invisible world through a needle's eye one detail at a time, beginning with the glint of blond down on his knuckle as he crushed a spent cigarette— I can see that last strand of smoke escaping in a tiny gasp—above the table where a bee fed thoughtfully from a bowl of sugar. World of shadows! where his thumb lodged into the belly of an apple, then split it in two, releasing the scent that exists only in late summer’s apples as we bit into rough halves flooded with juice. Memory meticulously stitches the market square where stalls of fruit ripened in the heat. Stitches the shadows stretched and pulled across the ground by the crowds pigeons seemed to mimic in their self-important but not quite purposeful strutting, singly and in droves. Stitches the unraveling world where only vendors and policemen stood in place.
The Whole World Is Gone
Driving alone at night, the world’s pitch, black velvet
stapled occasionally by red tail lights
on the opposite highway but otherwise mild
panic when the eyes’ habitual check
produces nothing at all in the rearview mirror,
a black blank, now nothing exists
but the dotted white lines of the road,
and the car scissors the blackness open
like the mind’s path through confusion,
but still no clarity, no arrival, only Pennsylvania darkness,
rocks, cliffs, vistas by day that thicken to black. It’s
sensual, though, too, and interestingly mental. What
I do alone, loving him in my mind. Trying not to
let imagination win over reality. Hurtling through the night
passions so spent become facts one observes. Not tempered,
just momentarily out of view by the body that perceives them.
Turning that into my prayer: to be deprived.