First the light opens in a milky vase.
Whether he sees a slavering rabid dog
or a Madonna, still, he’s looking for meaning.
Teeth in. Teeth out.
Chaste, hollow, he can’t make sense
of anything. Just to know how it would feel
to give back what’s given,
he smashes the vase
and his compass spreads on the ground.
He feels so purely gray-washed.
Only the crystal still rings.
Sitting with it for awhile, he dreams
of altering the earth’s axis.
There is no way to catch himself in this scene.
You cannot enter, say the woods.
Such lonely work, giving perspective
to red pines and evergreens and black claws
under the eyes of everyone.
And yet strangely not having a complete face
is why he’s survived so long:
his chilling eyes insist that nothing else is unclear,
calling forth a dish towel, toy horses,
honeysuckle blossoms working with grass,
candles burning down in right corners;
he is desperate for meaning, nonetheless.
He asks for it and is given a blue sun.
What he will not burn is only a promise.