The Mole

After love
discovers it,
the little burn
or birthmark
in an odd spot
he can neither see
nor reach; after
the internist's
downturned mouth,
specialists leaning
over him like
diviners, machines
reading his billion
cells; after
the onslaught
of insight, cures
crawling through him
like infestations,
so many surgeries
a wrong move
leaves him leaking
like overripe fruit;
after the mountain
aster and ice
wine, Michigan
football, Canes
Venatici and
the Four North
Fracture Zone
shrink to a room
where voices grow
hushed as if
at some holy
place, and even
in the kindest
eye there lurks
the eternity
to which he's been
commended; after
speech, touch,
even the instinct
to eat are gone,
and he has become
nothing but
a collection of quiet
tics and twitches
as if something
wanted out
of his riddled
bones, the carious
maze of his brain;
as the last day
glaciers into his room,
glass and chrome
so infinites-
imally facet-
ed it seems
he lives inside
a diamond, he breaks
into a wide
smile, as if joy
were the animal
in him, blind,
scrabbling, earth-
covered creature
tunneling
up from God
knows where to stand
upright, feasting
on distances, gazing
dead into the sun.

Christian Wiman, "The Mole" from Every Riven Thing. Copyright © 2011 by Christian Wiman.  Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Source: Every Riven Thing (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010)
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