Everywhere shaking with light

A poem by American writer Joanna Klink, from the book Circadian (2007):

And Having Lost Track

And having lost track, I walked
toward the open field. Now transparent,
now far, the day-moon burned through the waste
air. I passed a scientist, his hands
holding cinders to the sky.
I passed a pile of corroding metal,
a young girl with a ring of keys.
The sound of a flute came and went.
I passed a garden under snow, a half-open book,
a man unaccustomed to grief.
And thought: what must I do differently.
And could not avoid the scraps of glass,
the fog at my knees. I, like you,
am irreparable. And aware that
when the cold clouds lift, there may be nothing.
And having lost track, I walked by the high
gold grasses, a softness I could not reach to
feel. And came upon a table laid out
with wine and winter shadow. We shall
grow heavy. And felt the signature of light,
of sound and people, laid bare within me.
And I would give it up: This weight,
this concentration. Would gladly
be mistaken, or rebuild by force what
cannot hold. I passed the slow autumn sun
as it moved through the branches,
the terrible spread of deserts, the leap
of a bleeding deer.
To be outside this classifiable world,
and having lost track, and having heard
no message. As when a single existence
vanishes and the flute does not warp,
or sounds like the inside of a shell,
and the word for shell means
too many things. As if this were the last
mile, a path fashioned with white roses.
And chose the science of extraction,
the science of snow.
And walked in the dark world,
everywhere shaking with light.
That we only exist. That we do not
have the means. And are free to take place.

Mikalojus Ciurlionis. “The Past”. 1907.

About the book

  • Penguin Books, 2007, 67 p. Goodreads
  • My rating: 5 stars

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