There are many things I know are part of me
that I’ve never seen — like the sweet onion
grass on a French hillside, or the oval-orange
mushrooms that surge there in the muddy
footprints of a goat. But they’re not all pretty.
There are great sheaves of blood reamed down
from the necks of pigs and calves, and whole
Philippine seas exploded by dynamite, coral
and fish floating belly up. Also, electric cattle
prods rammed inside Tibetan nuns, and screams
like ribbons in the wind, like leaves
in some countries, like grass. Beside the Pecan trees
looking deeply through all the parts of me, she said
I don’t believe in pain, and I loved her for that.
There is darkness stored up in the eyes
of humans, more than any bees have honey.
Who can say how it happens? How long
it must lie in that damp cellar — the temperature,
the conditions? A long cold, a brief thaw?
How long alone in the white mountains,
how many days walking under scaffolding
past the legless beggars? It can’t be hurried,
predicted. Only sometimes suddenly it happens,
in some man or woman, the darkness
crystalizes, turns from the inside out
into light, a silent vociferous radiance
moving like sap over trees and trash cans
through the body of the endless streets.