Nighthawk and sun-bird
beauty of the world     beauty of the world

How can one write        beauty of the world?

Fumbled for each other in the dark
familiar, unfamiliar, the touch

of watery air
walls, weight      of watery air

cards scattered across a table,
game of chance they had played

• • •

So, Alyosha, maybe it is true
that we live in perhaps.
Perhaps the earth . . . perhaps the sky . . .
chemical winds, auroras, tides,
chalk hills and blistered pines
and the microtonal bells.

And those who swallow ink
(the ringers of bells),
perhaps they will inherit
the bogs and salt marshes,
the swamp grass and samphire,
jacket with torn pockets, shredded cuffs.

Will inherit the sea-foam, the dust,
the ferrous mud
that reabsorbs us.

• • •

Along the corridors
of the invisible world, Raúl,

gardeners raise such flowers
as need no light

such flowers
watered by voices

as need no eyes
to be seen

• • •

It is the role of the lovers to set fire to the book.

In the palm garden at night they set fire to the book

and read by the light of the book.

Syllables, particles of glass, they pass back and forth in the dark.

The two, invisible—transparent—in the book,

their voices muffled by the book.

It is the role of the lovers to be figures of the book, the

illegible book,

changing as the pages turn,

now joined, now clawing the fruit from each other’s limbs,

now interlaced, now tearing at throat and vein,

then splayfoot, then winged, then ember,

as the music of the book,

rustling through the palms,