Sunday, January 04, 2009

The way I work at things

I'm sure there's some part of the moth
that knows it's all futile,
and yet he can't help but return, to batter,
batter, batter his fine body against
whatever this membrane is, that keeps him
from the light, from the singularity
that calls him with a song he feels
deep in the seam between his senses.
With each wingbeat shedding more of his dust,
his essence, until he finally succeeds
in losing himself entirely.

Or maybe it's more like the oyster, with a grain
of the merest thought beneath her tongue
unable to think anything else, until
her work is done, and it has been mulled
and mused over, in enough quiet and darkness,
that one ill-fitting thing, that burr in her soft flesh,
until it is layered over, with strata of meaning
she herself never knew it had.

I just wanted you to know: this is what I'm mumbling
those nights when I take my notebook from the shelf,
to rework a poem in yet another color of ink:
Be as courageous as the martyred moth,
as meticulous as the patient oyster.

Mark Aiello