Because I cannot be held, let me
tell you that I am a rock, mythical
and heavy and unyielding to wind
and time and all things that speak
of erosion. I am the midsummer heat
saying, Look, Albert, that bird has faded
into song, the song has faded into memory,
memory has faded into you and you
have faded into memory, mine.
And we will fade as the bird has.
What need for me, then, a word
hollow as the warm barrel of a gun?
My brothers call to me from their graves,
saying mean, because there is no other way
to live. What does it matter?
Look, Albert, that star has died
lifetimes ago and yet it burns still.
Look, Albert, another bird
is streaking across the sky, another sky
unmindful of the many words for sky
that have died. Look. Let me stay
here some more, dear stranger
that I am, under this vast gray waiting.
Let me keep my eyes open.
I mean, let me mean
myself for a while.
Labels: poetry, writing exercise