I Am Speaking of This

Here, hands full of sand, letting it sift through
in the wind, I look in and say take this, this is
what I have saved, take this, hurry. And if I listen
now? Listen, I was not saying anything.

Jorie Graham, Nothing.

Here, heart full of night, letting it billow long
And long.
Missa Brevis, low, burnishing all the rooms
Until they are a landscape of brocade.
Mouth full of warm cider, drinking
The soft light
From a veiled lamp. The gilded
Dog sleeps; her breath catches when
She dreams of racing the ice flats.

Now I want to go to the mares
Rigid in the cold, out on the stiff grasses
To house them in warmth.

I am speaking of this,
A deep late dark, its silences, that the male choir
Sings in the duomo nave so that the sound is long
And full and you can’t hear anyone breathing
How is it, then, that love goes
Even through the dark out to something
That endures the onslaught shards of cold.


Someone is singing a laudate dominum. I know
His voice, someone I once knew, loved
For the purity of that sound he could make
That pierced the soul, so that the soul then knew
How God feels, how it feels to touch
Mystery’s face.

One is awake while the beloveds slumber
Like a sentinel waiting for the death of night
The young men singing, a sound so light
It is smoke
Can you hear their mortal tenderness
Unearthly, heralding

Even as we board the trains
Of night to pierce it, our own fleshly absence
The weeping soul, the gathering
Plumes of ardor, the awe that such a thing
Exists, that we tremble:
To think of being loved by something

Coming unto us, magnum mysterium
Like the rain, the clarity
Of first light, waking for a split second
Innocent of Self, of distinguishing
Oneself from everything:

As if we the broken, the lost,
The profaned, having nothing
Left to say, have arrived
At night’s station to disembark
With nothing left, but to stay
Our hands against one another
In something like belief.

copyright Jenne’ R. Andrews 2011, 2012