Saturday, September 17, 2011

Jorie Graham, "On Difficulty"

It's that they want to know whose they are,
seen from above in the half burnt-out half blossomed-out
woods, late April, unsure as to whether to
turn back.
The woods are not their home.
The blossoming is not their home. Whatever's back there
is not. Something floats in the air all round them
as if it were the place
where the day drowns,
and the place at the edge of cries, for instance, that fissure, gleams.
Now he's holding his hand out.
Is there a hollow she's the shape of?
And in their temples a thrumming like
what-have-I-done?-- but not yet a question, really, not
yet what slips free of he voice to float like a brackish foam
on emptiness--
Oh you will come to it, you two down there
where the vines begin, you will come to it,
the thing towards which you reason, the place where the flotsam
of the meanings is put down
and the shore
holds. They're thinking
how low the bushes are, after all, how finite
the options one finds in the
waiting (after all). More like the branchings of whiteness
always stopping short into this shade or that,
breaking inertia then stopping,
breaking the current at last into shape but then
If you asked them, where they first find the edges of each other's bodies, where
happiness resides
they'd look up through the gap
in the greenery you're looking down through.
What they want to know-- the icons silent in the shut church (to the left),
the distance silent in the view (to the right)--
is how to give themselves away,
which is why they look up now,
which is why they'll touch each other now (for your
looking), which is why they want to know what this
reminds you of
looking up, reaching each other for you to see, for you to see by, the long
beginning, the long sleep of resemblance,
touching each other further for you that Eternity begin, there, between you,
letting the short jabs of grass hold them up for you to count by,
to color the scene into the believable by,
letting the thousands of individual blossoms add up
and almost (touching her further) block your view of them--
When you look away
who will they be dear god and what?

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