Wednesday, May 27, 2015

More Air

Wild Geese
- Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Because some days I crave poetry like air

To Myself

You are riding the bus again
burrowing into the blackness of Interstate 80,  
the sole passenger

with an overhead light on.  
And I am with you.
I’m the interminable fields you can’t see,

the little lights off in the distance  
(in one of those rooms we are  
living) and I am the rain

and the others all
around you, and the loneliness you love,
and the universe that loves you specifically, maybe,

and the catastrophic dawn,
the nicotine crawling on your skin—
and when you begin

to cough I won’t cover my face,
and if you vomit this time I will hold you:  
everything’s going to be fine

I will whisper.
It won’t always be like this.
I am going to buy you a sandwich.