( Syracuse, New York )
from BFR, Summer 2004
snow-angel-posed in a wheat field,
spokes of sun softening the season,
I say to myself, remember this like a tent
one builds over the body in the rain.
I say, place yourself here, warm catatonia,
when the wind comes and the sun leaves like a good father
gone into the dark trees with a rifle.
The heat, the light, the view of no particular
century. I say, carry this, if nothing else, as a repeating reel,
as a reliquary. I say, the day is coming
to an end. There are ways to overcome the end
of a day, the erasure.
There are ways to live in the burning
fields, the splintering walls.
I say, stand in one place and circle yourself
in rick-rack so the water won’t find you.
I say, this is the way you survive.
Be here, repeat this, mantra, mantra, mantra.
Meditate, there are no real wounds.
Breathe, there is no separation of light and dark.
I say, this is the afternoon of eternity,
of no identifiable grace. I say, this is what you will come to call
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