Scarcely There

[For J.A.]

After the wind just stops you still hear
the wind’s wild almost, its approach and retreat, and how it kept
circling as-if-trying, as if about-to-be, an almost-speech,
loud and full of syntax casting about for

life, form, limit, fate. To be bodied. To strut. To have
meaning. How easily we wear ourselves
as if it is nothing to have
origin, whirl, outcome, end      and still be.

After the high winds stop you’re forced to hear
the freshness of what’s
there. It smacks, shimmers—this sound of
the scarcely there, the adamantly almost, all betweens, sub-­

siding till adjustment—and then the re-blanketing evenness sets in ... Gone
all that acceleration shooting up and back, futurist, wild with naming and naming
its one price. Oh nothing holds. Just the rattling of the going and
coming together of things, as if matter itself is trying

to find something true to
say—crazed investigation, tentative prophecy trying on savage
shape, figure, progression—widening without be-
coming. Is this the last war now, finally—but no, only more of notion’s

motions—more more the wind says, break grief, loosen possibility, let vague
hopes float, sink—let other debris slip into
their place. Rootless mind. Shallow whirling of  law and more and yet more law
brocading the emptiness. Then suddenly

all stills. It is near noon. No more
spillage. No more gorgeous waste of effort. No more upgathering,
out-tossed reachings of green as if imagining some out there exists—hovering
inhalations, then as-if-hiding, then all coughed-out at once in a tumble—
too much,

too many, disconcerted, uncountable. Yet no dream ...

After the wind stops you hear fact. You hear fact’s plan. It is huge.
The tree does not escape. Things are finished forces.
You hear a name-call from far off, tossed, dropped. Someone gives up.
Light rips here from there. Where birdcalls cease, you hear the under-

neath. Try living again day’s long pitched syllable-ooze
hums after the high winds stop & your final footprint lifts off & no matter
how clean
you want it to be
nothing is ever going to be gone enough. Oh. Oak, show us up.
Indecipherable green sound us. Stilled leaf-chatter quiver up

again, rustle the secret rule we’ll never catch in
time. To be late is to be alive. This Sunday. All things are
mention of themselves—as the dog barks, the air conditioner
scours its air—and each thing takes its place. But look, keenly, adamantly

a road has appeared—a sense that something is happening striates
the open air—there is a limping in the light, a tiny withdrawal of light from
light, which makes a form in the gully—you haven’t changed much it
says—children still appearing out of nowhere now, so violently heavy with

life, they dart, they breed, you be a ghost now the surrounding tunes up,

as if it is all going to begin again, though this time without you
standing here noticing.... So notice is given. The look on the light
is that of an argument about to be made and won.
Yes you were underneath history for this while,

you were able to write the history of being underneath,
you were able to disappear and make the rest appear.
But now it wants its furious place again, all floral and full of appearance,
full of its fourth wall, its silvery after-tomorrow,

and ramping-up now quite a spectacular dusk.
This page is turning. It is full of mattering. Our unrealized project glows in
your mind. The animals lift their heads for an instant then back.
New shoots in the parched field. All the details are important you think but

no, even the ruins look like they might be fake—important but fake—
though we must learn what they have to teach then push them back
deep into the light. This is the way it is it murmurs, circling,
out here in the middle of summer. Which summer was it which was

the last of the summers. All the children are returned home. Day turns its windless
folio. You stay it says. We pass here now onto the next-on world. You stay.

More Poems by Jorie Graham