Tuesday, January 3, 2012

the window

I am not -
open or closed -
what you expected, o heart.

Or would you 
without me have thought
to throw open
the flooding and roar,
to step through the lion's gold pelt?

Have thought that
the passionate glass is the body?
And this life, the one life you wanted?

meaning neither lacked,
nor desired.
but something else.
Something closer
to how, when the two owl-lovers
begin their night singing
and all the black length of the woods
is held in those arms,
not one stone, not one leaf goes uncalling.

If I had been what you thought,
o heart,
how could the clear glass
flow as it does with mountains,
with jewel-colored, perishing fish?
Flashing and falling,
the black-bright rain of beings and things -
Some recognizable, yours, but others -
too fleeting or large - that cannot be spoken.

Though the one world touches the other
in every part, o heart,
in silence,
like new lovers taking their fill in the crowded dark.

~ Jane Hirshfield 
from The October Palace
art by picasso