A tiny creature moves
through the tide pool, holding up
its little fortress foretelling
our tragedies; another clamps
itself down to the stone. A sea anemone
sucks at my finger, mildly, I can just
feel it, though it may mean to kill—no,
it would probably say, to eat
and flow, for all these creatures
even half made of stone seem to thrill
to altered existences. As do we ourselves,
who advance so far, then stop, then creep
a little, stop again, suddenly gasp—breath
is the bright shell
of our life-wish encasing us—gasp
it all back in, on seeing that any time
would be OK
to go, to vanish back into all things—as when
lovers wake up at night and see
they both are crying and think. Yes,
but it doesn’t matter, already
we will have lived forever. And yes,
if we could do that: separate out
time from happiness, remove
the molecules scattered
throughout our flesh that remember, skim them off,
throw them at non-conscious things,
who may even crave them. . . It’s funny,
I imagine I can actually remember one certain
quart of milk which has just finished clinking
against three of its brethren
in the milkman’s great hand and stands,
freeing itself from itself, on the rotting
doorstep in Pawtucket circa 1932,
to be picked up and taken inside
by one in whom time hasn’t yet completely
woven all its tangles, and not ever set down...
So that here, by the tide pool,
where a sea eagle rings its glass voice
above us, I remember myself back there,
and first dreams easily untangling
themselves rise in me, flow from me in waves,
as if they felt ready now to be fulfilled
out there where there is nothing.