And he stirred his coffee, the old poet, and spoke of
Dante, and how Homer’s journey to the underworld
wove a thread through Virgil to the selva oscura. And
that the Commedia was not the apex of Christianity, but
its finale. That the enormous architecture of the poem
was not built to house theology, but to protect man from
the absence of God, who had already departed.
I always hide behind my hair, even when I don’t have hair. I disappeared
inside my shaved head, identity de facto of college, coming out. Camouflaged
in plain sight, a faux reveal, ersatz openness of skin & neck.
After a shower I fill the tub with water, stick fresh candles into candlesticks and brace each heavy planter in the yard. From the rain guard gutter I rake leaves. Watching the sun press through shuttling clouds, I see there’s no such thing as reprieve without broad damage. Electricity comes and goes, yellow leaves circulate in clusters, treetops contort. The dissonance is too like the news, external hysteria masking an inward calm that moves it, a wave of pictures uploaded to iPhones, the opposite of poetry, which prepares the long confusion for its shape.
and I can’t sleep so I’m up thinking
too hard scribbling these words in the dark
because the physics science news I read
before bed is making me crazy now
with incomprehension—it makes
no sense to me that gravity should exist,
what I know about is love: