The world has been trying to seduce or bully me for as long as I can remember: feral cats and forest fires, crickets and cicadas, breezes and mosquitoes— they seem so different, but they all only want one thing. Sometimes I resist, but eventually I always give in, and I have tooth and claw marks to prove both.
Now comes late summer making me nap, and if I don't nap in the afternoon it makes me nap the evening away and I miss the sunset. I wonder what sort of sunset it was today? I wonder what sort of night it's going to be? Portia doesn't say a word, but just fondles and purrs, and the cicadas just buzz and buzz and buzz.
by Albert Goldbarth
The sky is random. Even calling it “sky”
is an attempt to make a meaning, say,
a shape, from the humanly visible part
of shapelessness in endlessness.
It’s what we do, in some ways it’s entirely what
we do—and so the devastating rose
of a galaxy’s being born, the fatal lamé
of another’s being torn and dying, we frame
in the lenses of our super-duper telescopes the way
we would those other completely incomprehensible
fecund and dying subjects at a family picnic.
Making them “subjects.” “Rose.” “Lamé.” The way
your language scissors the enormity to scales
we can tolerate. The way we gild and rubricate
in memory, or edit out selectively.
An infant’s gentle snoring, even, apportions
the eternal. When they moved to the boonies,
Dorothy Wordsworth measured their walk
to Crewkerne—then the nearest town—
by pushing a device invented especially
for such a project, a “perambulator”: seven miles.
Her brother William pottered at his daffodils poem.
Ten thousand saw I at a glance: by which he meant
too many to count, but could only say it in counting.