Whitman's Woman

imageAndrew Wyeth— Crows— 1944

The Secret of Beautiful Things

So many times I’ve wanted to tell you
the secret of beautiful things,
but I’ve only been able
to think them in your name,
so that every recognition, aching to be
articulate, silently becomes you.

Tonight, when I dream, I will find you
in some treasure that I’ll barely remember
tomorrow, and yet, I will recognize,
in these visions of myself,
you, and that which is known as holy—
holy speaking without words.

You will be found in the single crow
laughing me into the building, and
in numinous horizons, and
in the beginnings of blossoms,
and in the endings of old trees.

You will be found in the lonely words
hiding in poorly bound books, and
in tired cafe conversations, and
in the clinking of spoons,
and in the bottoms of coffee cups.

You will be found again and again
signaling to me my place in the world,
amid the grace of the ordinary—
ordinary, claiming by name
that which it is not and                                                                       

could never be.

whitmanswoman:


image

Threshold

It wasn’t that the door was open
or that she heard the ancestral summons
of Blue Beard’s wives
or that the door had been locked for years,
and someone had told her the key had been lost.
It was the sudden an unexpected openness,
and the invitation of light
that compelled her crossing. 
Now, she is beyond that door
and slipping through windows
that were never closed.

If I Could

whitmanswoman:

image

If I could,
I would give you the sunlight
moving across my bed
like the strong weather-worn hands
that have held you for years
in some beautiful paternal grace.

If I could,
I would give you this incipient fall air
and a hot cup of coffee
because it would remind you
just how perfect
it all is.

If I could, I would give you this.
Just this.
Nothing more.
Because it would always be enough.


image

Threshold

It wasn’t that the door was open
or that she heard the ancestral summons
of Blue Beard’s wives
or that the door had been locked for years,
and someone had told her the key had been lost.
It was the sudden an unexpected openness,
and the invitation of light
that compelled her crossing. 
Now, she is beyond that door
and slipping through windows
that were never closed.