I won’t let it rest, either:
26 June 2017
Love Held Strong
I don’t know how to work a heart that pounds like hooves all night, all day,
and won’t lie down and let me go to sleep no matter how I pray.
I call the name that called me first, and still the race goes on and on.
I won’t lie quiet; that is not within my power. I’ll soon be gone
if this continues. Who are you to block my way? My throat, I mean—
I don’t know how to work with you. It seems to me you’re in between
self-sacrifice and under-handed curiosity. My friend
who waited by my side when I felt faint—who’s waiting now, the end
in sight—he knows the airy ways between the worlds grow warm with spring,
lean across the windowsill like spilling-over grace, then sing
the little humming lullabye that hid behind your sleeping mind
whenever it lay so awake, it took us for a ride—the kind
you never wanted, nor will ever welcome—but are you still here?
Listening, and giving voice to everything that calls through clear,
clear casts of mind, that wants to know you feel it as it rises, breath
a little bit mistaken for a choking sound that portends death
in other stories; not in ours; will you still lean across the sill,
tell the wandering ghost your tale, sing to it, and aye—fulfill
an ancient promise in the doing so, although you feared the next
admonishment lest it should follow—readings from an elder text—
and voiceless superstitions given language here in many ways?
Even if your only ghosts speak your home tongue, their hymns of praise
will come across as foreign sometimes. In the interval, if heart
must lie just pounding, thrashing, hurting so, so much, the morning art
the helpers who attend fierce souls between old worlds—they’ll find and share
our blent endeavors. Rhyme and dance, old words so strange and weird, their care
has fallen here to us, to me, to one who lives on Earth where sweet
green trees give way to blossom every spring—Rise to your singing feet,
dear poet child, and make your telling marks with either hand as draw
all over lovely living’s face with shining masks upon the raw,
hurt, lonely, very sinking place where smiles were made before death came—
That heart was made to push us through. For god’s sake, don’t lie down, no name;
This heart won’t burst for too much love; if it falls dead, it’s for sheer lack
of all the beauty you were sent to share with us, here, in this black,
black hallway in between bright shores. And there’s—the door; and here you—stand.
When the rope was weak and broke, you held out—and love took your hand.