Believing each simple thing passes from a perception that is less clear
into one that is, eventually, more clear. Believing each simple thing contains
within it a minimal unity beyond which whatever else can be
exists. That the two seeds, or four seeds, are where the pear will go and where
it began. Black bark, blossoms in the mild rain, smelling like piss
in the spring rain, the chips and twigs raining down beneath our weight
as we broke off bouquets for the teacher. “What is that smell?” she asked.
Stark, white, delicate, attached with green cuffs,
twig to twig, the blooms bursting through the runnels that
held them. Five runnels made in the foil by five fingers.
The given world is infinite and reality is complete.
That’s what I had written in the morning on the blackboard.
And then, going home, I was stalled
again on the bridge. I looked up and out and there
I saw the girl flying and falling, flying and falling
in the distance, in the narrow air between two buildings,
her arms outspread, over and over
against the strip of sky and above the gravel, or grass
or ground—the light changed and I couldn’t see at all
where or how she had dragged the trampoline
that must have been the yielding source of all her motion.
If you find a sight like this a kind of gift or sign, you’ve missed the way
the mind seals over, the way the simplest thing pulls on its heavy hood
and turns away slowly from a thought. For later, weeks later,
I was stalled again in mid-bridge and couldn’t remember,
yet could vaguely remember, the sense that something
was about to happen, that the light
would change like a bell or alarm
and that in turn would mean the time had come
when everyone must leave the school—
with every sweater and pencil left in place
—to burn, and burn
and burn back to the ground.