I see myself from the back, walking. There are circles of both light and shadow around each of my footsteps. I know that with each step I can now go farther and faster than ever before, so of course I want to spring forward and run. But I am told that I must pause at each step, letting my foot rest on the ground for a moment, if I want it to develop its full power and reach, before taking the next.
When I rise up
let me rise up joyful
like a bird.
When I fall
let me fall without regret
like a leaf.
– Windell Berry
THE SUN BURN WILDER
There was a man she could not love
as he never showed his dark side.
You must have one she said.
She turned him round and round and inside out
but this man shone from within.
She did not recognize the madness
in his luminosity. He looked at her in wonder
and she needed this to remind her:
maybe she had been wrong all along
and the darkness looming inside her
was something she could grow out of
like screeching shins in the night
blunt blades carving lengthening bones
when you have to go along with tall people
who say you are growing
and you need to sleep. The tall ones
who know capitals of countries
in different languages and spell them.
Who remember what time you were born
- to the second - even when you ask
but doesn’t the sun burn wilder
and don’t the clouds need to find
new formations. Don’t the deer flee
and chase flocks of resilient birds
- black electric silhouettes that hardly move
on the long lines threading the sky together
with music and crackled speeches -
away from the hilltops into the clearest
water too shallow to hide in
doesn’t it take all this to be born.