I haven’t stopped trying, but I don’t know if I could. Spurts of intention alternate with bouts of helplessness. And so I too manage with the laundry, the flotsam left in the wake of daily tidal pools, hurricanes, the exhausting dance of whirlwinds. This is a book of commonplace hours. No one is a saint, or everyone is a saint: the homeless man sprawled on a park bench, drab duffel bag for a pillow; the teenage boys laughing on the street corner, the glow from cigarettes in cupped hands haloing their faces like in a fresco. I too remind myself of the work I need to finish. I don’t believe it was only forty days in the desert. Night comes on, unfurling its stole of saffrons and purples. Is that the order to which we must ascend? Coming in, unlatching the gate, sometimes it takes so little to send the arrow flying: tonight, for instance— one tiny bud of wild garlic, precarious on its stalk.
In response to cold mountain (48) (49).