Emergence

As I returned home
in the dark, a whitish, blue-
ish long-snouted thing

retreated under
the house. Roadkill, I whispered,
to my profound shame.

The Absolute re-
veals itself by retreating,
gives way to mortal

things. I was blinded
by the emergence of the
real, the distinguished thing.

Cat Wang’s Judo

In winter we share
the chair, my master and I.
We keep the pillow

warm for each other.
For me this means sacrifice,
like getting up and

down as he wishes.
My perfect obedience
is spiritual

judo. He calls me
his genius loci to
his pretentious friends.

When he’s in bed I
watch the moon as it rises
through the emptiness.

The Grammar of It

Let it rain. Let it
rain on the roof, you’re a fish
in the flow of now,

a child in the womb,
a man in prayer’s embrace.
It names the one way

we know the nothing
that pours through the opening
in the beginning,

the mystery of
which begins for us with the
grammar of ‘Let it.’

Emily Dickinson’s Fly

The fly tickling my
ear is the last of its kind,
everybody says.

It keeps returning
to my ear. It doesn’t buzz.
Maybe it’s dying.

It visits other
tables but returns to my ear.
People look away.

Until it moves I
can’t tell that it’s on my ear.
Everybody sees.

So this may be why
Emily Dickinson stayed
at home with her fly.

Silver Codgers

We have come through to
the edge of our lives. We sip
coffee and eavesdrop.

Our voices crack. We
groan as we shift in our chairs.
We find each other

hysterical. Yet
we are the seeking of love’s
criss-crossing arrows.

We silver codgers
are beside ourselves sitting
beside each other.

The Bed

What’s love got to do
with it? I wake up on the
right side of the bed

in which I sleep a-
lone. The emptiness is whole,
half-light promising.

I dream a little
of past loves. This very bed
complained woodenly.

‘It bears / Its forebears’
I pray from my own psalter,
God and the Between.

A religion of
love? That would be mostly hope.
Hope is appealing.