Monday, November 4, 2013

River Flow Through


River Flow Through

O, were I at one with the River
flowing and winding through time and space—
not floating above
like a fractured auburn
oak leaf, cast off in the process
of seasonal change;
no, not a rider on rippling waves,
nor a stone who watches petrified
from below, mortared in mud
as the world wanders by,
always something going past
and wearing this surface smooth, away;
I must now somehow de-solidify my-
self, release these clinging
molecules, free these lusty electrons
from their compulsive whirl—
or circumambulation—
around the protons they desire;
but simple disassembly
can never wash it all away;
no sparagmatic frenzy,
no bacchanalian ecstasy,
can ever wear these stones away:
as Orpheus forever sings,
though scattered here and there,
until no single piece remains
no peace can ever come to stay
(true, I am no Orpheus…
but can I sing a different fate?):
let there be no surface, no tactile
barrier to break through,
and no sensation of the world
upon this stubborn skin:
by some profound osmosis,
let the River permeate
and absorb this ailing body
picking up and dropping
                     pieces
       of     itself
upon a dusty trail of tears
that fall as grains of sand;
irrigate me, soak my roots,
and turn these yellow fronds to green,
quench the fire that only dies
when all the kindling is consumed;
I must now somehow throw wide my pores
like windows in an April rain,
become transparent, forget opacity,
no longer occlude—send my shadow away:
let me shatter these stained-glass
relics of a crumbling temple,
tear down this weeping wall, seeping from
wounds old and new, wailing in the desert sun,
its tears drifting off to drown
a sad and stinking, stagnant sea;
there can be no shards, no remnants
glinting as they catch the light
and sink into the River
as it catches them but will not hold;
I must now somehow dissolve, aquify,
rewrite my chemical formula
to hydrogens balancing oxygen
in this great mathematical entropy,
this lawful chaos, this graduated flux
that pulses and shines phosphorescent:
let my color, my taste, be that of
the River, the water mingling all
yet always the same, its flavor
forever too subtle to place;
the tastes on this tongue are sour,
spoiled with poor storage,
this liquor an ichor of bitter lees
futilely swirled through a leaking skin—
O, I must somehow allow it to flow
through, flood through, wash through and be
the blood, the life that bears me up
and gently fills me day by day:
let me open up and drink until
I am as one with the River.