All day I am sitting.
On that bench.
There is some wind nearby I recognize,
or maybe it is this:
a dove has flown
through the doorway?
The sky I mean.
Two timbers and a lintel in my mind,
and the clouds
that are playing house upon the ocean.
A dove has formed from the sky
and my heart trembles
because it knows of such things,
and also because all day
I am sitting on that bench throwing pebbles,
the little ones that tumble out of your heart
when you put in a coin and turn the lever.
I throw them up in the air,
through the doorway,
across the boundary and into the gap,
and count the seconds until they land.
They never do.
The sky has no ending here.
I throw them over the side,
off the bridge,
beyond the curl of this place,
beyond the reach of every shadow.
And now a dove is
circling around the brilliance of our sun.
Or perhaps it was just the wind.
What have you given? some will ask.
What do you know about suffering?
You sit there like a fool, by the way,
throwing your idle pennies
to the bottom.
Be of some use, why don’t you?
And later, when I am alone again,
after I have fallen through their skies
and been used by the rain,
by wind that moves in packs
and howls and tears things apart.
By anguish that rents and rips.
After I have gathered myself
and crawled back to the edge:
the pebbles drop from my heart.
It is gravel. Clean and brittle.
Washed and white.
A river wanders the land
for many leagues of wonder
until this is what is left: this gravel.
Tiny ghosts of a great land
that will still shatter teeth.
I drop one into the sky.
Another I set between the roots of the tree
where it is cool and tiny things grow.
One I throw into the clouds that glide
across the surface of the water,
pretending they live inside of a mirror.
Maybe it is nothing at all.
Maybe it is hollow and useless,
to take what is in you and set it free.
But now there are two doves
circling the sun,
their undersides in shadow.
They are hanging motion:
riders of the invisible.
The brilliance they ride
is a haze I cannot penetrate.
And still the gravel falls into my hand.
All day I am sitting here
and who can say if this matters?
Who can know of such things?
Only the wind, perhaps.
Or whatever it is
that lives just there.
(I am pointing)
(between the doves)
(beyond the doorway)
(through so, so many reflections)