Loving a Good Woman
Something in the rush of joyful surprise
through my body when I came across the black snake
sunning on the terrace, which slid into the grass,
something of the energy vivid in the air
made me feel invisible, as though I’d turned sideways
and slipped through some fissure in the universe, as though
I could feel my own thoughts. And I felt for a moment
like a branch in a river, feeling that pull
and hardly being able to lift myself above it
but practicing slowly, slowly, until
I could also feel the wind standing empty in the stillness,
I could feel the breezes trapped inside a stone,
I could feel the distance those small birds fly.
Crack open the nut of things and taste the living meat.
I listened for that snake so I could hear its eggs
waiting to hatch, full of little snakes,
so I could watch them too. But I knew I’d never find them
hiding in the bushes, in the folds of grass.
Where does the sweetness in this sap come from, anyway?
Who is alive now, and singing in our blood?
Michael Hettich | Mudlark No. 40 (2010)
Contents | The Votive Candle