Saturday, September 1, 2012
Like the small hole by the path-side something lives in,
in me are lives I do not know the names of,
nor the fates of,
nor the hungers of or what they eat.
They eat of me.
Of small and blemished apples in low fields of me
whose rocky streams and droughts I do not drink.
And in my streets –– the narrow ones,
unlabeled on the self-map ––
they follow stairs down music ears can't follow,
and in my tongue borrowed by darkness,
in hours uncounted by the self-clock,
they speak in restless syllables of other losses, other loves.
There too have been the hard extinctions,
missing birds once feasted on and feasting.
There too must be machines
like loud ideas with tungsten bits that grind the day.
A few escape. A mercy.
They leave behind
small holes that something unweighed by the self-scale lives in.
– Jane Hirshfield (from Poetry, September 2012)