The Gift
You who come from the Answerer
let it be known the wheel in the sky burns for you
and I in my clipped wings
am the child you lost in the desert
While I was gone
my feet unblessed walked
and now
the gentleness of crows
grace is upon them
Where I have come to
the fire in the hearth exits from stones
every small thing listens with new eyes
the house’s dark corners notice the light
sorrow sits nowhere
Indian Summer
Through the body walks a messenger
Her ivory hair black with birds
Their great wings washing
Across the favorite fresh night
A New Usefulness

Once, knowing fullness, the jar stored corn, tomatoes, pickles, and for a short time, a bouquet of white daisies and pink cornflowers. But that is all past. It is always dark here, the jar thinks, and some old images refuse to come forth. The jar does not hear the wind, or feel the boiling of waters arousing suitability. However, there is breathing, or something like breathing, which awakens it each morning when a few minute flecks of light enter the darkness like a burnous in search of a nomad.

The jar wonders if this breathing is the world or the absence of it, or if the world still exists, really; and if not, whether the cellar floats, uprooted in the blue carriage of outer space.

Without sunlight, the jar becomes dark, tanned by dust and blackened by the loneliness of the otherwise empty cellar. In the beginning it could see its reflection from all sides. Now it sees only spiders and miniscule fields of damp earth which settle on it. It looks empty, but it senses an accumulation of invisible beings, spirit-shapes that curl and multiply within the womb of its cold roundness.

Something about this jar betrays a significance. It’s possible that its shape, though pressed, repeats a desire contained in the hand of the forge presser, for repetition is the mirror of need, and molten glass strives for perfection and finishing. Perhaps it holds some secret yet greater than molecules or amoeba. Esoteric knowledge lives in strange vessels, oftentimes common. The jar knows from experience, for example, that secrets are carried in the bosom of the beet, and praise in the seed of the melon. Now, the absinthe of storing is in the basics of living: a coating of damp dust, a spider’s silvered weavings, the golden viscosity of lightlessness.

Here, things are heavy, yet always transforming. The jar’s metamorphosis has begun, mineral-encrusted, making for a new life where being held by emptiness fulfills all needs. My, my, it thinks, a new and solitary usefulness.