The problem with the world

is not that it lacks the patience of light,
but that it thinks it can do without.
But give it six months of winter, a stack

of cards all labeled bad luck or misfortune,
and see what happens: the money for finishing
the house gambled away at the casino, the drunken

exchange and swindle; sudden hail wiping out
orchards of fruit that would have been shipped
to market. Wind, rain, flood; drought, dust

storm, avalanche. The constant emptying of coffers
as soon as they have filled, the constant moving
from one house to another that I don’t own.

How long am I expected to be bedfellows
with darkness? O I do not want for purpose:
I have purposed from the time I fell in love

with the shape of this life. And I don’t want
only the quick pleasure of what lasts more
briefly than a night. I can hide more

than six seeds under my tongue at once,
but I would rather roam at will. Don’t let the gold-
tipped rushes vanish in the distance, don’t let the water

disappear with the road. Isn’t darkness really harder
to cultivate? That’s what I tell myself it means,
when you trace the edge of my cheek with your hand.


In response to Via Negativa: Feckless.

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