If we were to wait a moment for the things
we refuse to know—the waiting of early February,
of the sky that grays before the storm, scent
of cold, like metal waiting under ice—
so that we find ourselves helpless beneath
the weight of it all, then what? A man once
told me, angrily, that I needed patience, needed
to believe in the tiniest spark of luck, that want
of perfect timing can set us to a frenzy
of spinning it is impossible to pull out from.
Or a sculpture in a dark corner can spark us
to a blaze in wonder that cannot stay silent
and we’ll stomp our wordless shoes against
the blue carpet at the museum. How dangerous
we are. How words can leave us overcome.
We hold ourselves apart even now in case we find
ourselves imagining that which we want most,
the place we cannot lift ourselves from.
Aren’t we half-blinded by sunlight? Don’t we want
to find a shadowed bench? If we move, if we,
for even a moment leave the things we thought
we were or thought we needed—the salt on the road,
the vacuum lines on the carpet, the sleeping dog,
the wind before the snowfall lifting last autumn’s leaves
into a whorl—if we leave these things, who have we
become? How could we stop ourselves from waiting?
Every night, we are the sleeping and the walking.
We rush barefoot into the drifts of patient snow.
What is useless then? Shovel, bag of rock salt,
two small guards standing vigil by the gaping door.