April 12, 2007

if ever

if ever
- Maya Stein

if ever there was a time for laughter
let it be now
this perfect hour
this infinite instant
let us laugh at the world around us
whichever undying part remains
not verging on the lip of annihilation,
poised for the eternal forgetting.

if ever there was a time to sing
let it be now
these open windows, the throats from which
music does not distinguish its notes
the wind, the echo in a canyon
these sunset waves splurging on the sand
let us tilt our ears leeward to catch it all
and shake loose from our own knotty reserves
some nameless tune that no one will remember
but which will cling like a fine dust
to everything it catches.

if ever there was a time to love
let it be now
feel the easy embrace of the chair
we grunt into each day
notice how the bedsheets part for our
sibilant sleep, the night generous
with its ticking hours, moon just so
discover how whole the body can be
wrapping itself around an ice cream cone
the farewell we offer a friend
going to Africa, the parting wish
we leave at the airport's sliding glass doors
notice how unfraudulent the heart is
whispering us closer to a baby boy
who offers us his batting eyelashes
how easy we can cleave from the hard, lost day
a fractured second of joy, eyes enraptured
with the sight of a small breeze lifting
plastic bags into an aerial dance
just for us.

and if ever there was a time to pause
and stand, broken, before God,
weep at the sight of all that is beautiful
and finite, our hands having cast their breadcrumbs,
the birds scattering toward home,
time impossible in its never enoughness,
if ever there was a time to pause
and to ache in the falling light
signaling our last, glorious view of the world,
let it be now.

Posted by Judi at April 12, 2007 5:30 PM | TrackBack
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