Monday, June 4, 2018

Blow It Back by Carl Phillips


Blow It Back
 
How they woke, finally, in a bed of fernshorsetail ferns.
How they died singing. All night, meanwhile, as if somehow
the fox’s mouth that so much of this life has amounted to had
briefly unshut itselfand the moth that’s trapped there,
unharmed, gone freea snow fell; the snow-filled street
seemed a toppled column, like the one in the mind called
doubt, or that other one,
                                       persuasion, the broken one, in three
clean pieces    ...    Well, it’s morning, now. Out back, the bamboo
bows and stiffens. Thoughts in a wind. Thoughts like (but
nobody saying it): Nobody, I think, knows me better by
now than you do. Or like: The bamboo, bowing, stiffening,
seems like nothing so much as, in this light, competing forms
of betrayal that, given time, must surely cancel each other
out, close your eyes; patience; wait. Maybe less the foliage
than the promise of it. Less that shame exists, maybe, than that
the world keeps saying it does, know it, hold on tight to it, as if
the world were rumor, how every rumor
                                                               rings true, lately.
When I’m ashamed, I make a point of reminding myself what
is shame but to have shownto have let it showthat variety
of love that goes hand in hand with having wished to please
and, in pleasing, for a while belong. So shame can, like love, be
an eventual way through? There’s a minor chord sparrows make
with doves that’s not the usual businessit’s not sad at all, any of it:
this always waiting for what I’ve always waited for; this not being
able to assign to what’s missing some shape, a name; this body
neither antlered nor hoovedbrave too, this body, unapologetic    . . . 

 

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