Leap and Fall Away
I know what it means to melt away as snow
or as an ice cube on a counter. I understand bare skin
as well as any loneliness. I’d rather stay home reading.
Sand dunes in a hail storm, for example. Children waiting
to disappear. We disappear. The day I saw an oak tree
crowded with hundreds of finely-woven nests
in every crotch and crevice, each filled with small blue eggs
as the birds flew around inside that canopy
with long hair in their beaks, which shone
as it trailed behind them. How it feels to gleam.
Insects have heart beats, of course, even worms.
The rhythm those hearts make, all beating all the time.
Even single moments have heart beats, and they breathe—
the scientists have taught us this—as they leap and fall away.
Though silence can’t move unless it hurts things in its path,
unless it makes things disappear. But still we know the emptiness
of teeth and eyes, and listening, the rush of rivers underground,
that cold empty water, those caves.
Michael Hettich | Mudlark No. 40 (2010)
Contents | Concrete and Mortar