I Shall Never Know What It Meant (Paul Bray)

December 16, 2008

I shall never know what it meant: the broken tractor,
the horses against the sky, the split moon,
one bent lance of light leaning out of the skull on the desk
in a house in the country with over forty rooms.

I shall never know who sent it: the sun’s caress
on my face when I swam to the lid of the lake, the locusts grinding
out their flying saucer psalm of Ezekiel wheels-
within-wheels, the startling, stretching palms of the flowers.

I shall never decode your words, when we sit idly
pulling the onion grass sobbing from the soil, or when we
gazed at the Appalachian dusk, the blasted cornfield,
hexpaint, vodka, the Bible, the hourglass.

I shall wonder beyond my own death, I shall wander
across the earth’s face, grabbing people’s lapels and speaking in fevers.

(from Terrible Woods: Poems 1965 – 2008 from Dos Madres Press)

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