A Man Is Poised To Write
A man is poised to write the last line
of an eleven-thousand page letter to his father
that he's been working on while in prison.
He's in the habit of talking to a fly
often found on the rim of his metal toilet
and speaks to it as he writes,
My cell has two windows onto a world
that is wondrous.
The black cow grazes among
Master Bankei said that when you hear
a crow caw beyond the temple walls
you know what it is without
My third grade teacher said, You'll never
forget my name, Hannah, it's spelled
the same way backwards
A moment of some enlightenment.
The cow's swishing tail and her nose
buried in the grass spell out cow
She also moos.
I name the cow Hannah,
the yellow flowers name themselves
She looked in wonder at the rain suddenly on fire just
before being slammed across the veranda into a solid
oak door. When revived, her first thought was how
everything is up for grabs and that's what she began
saying over and over, seeing beyond her friends' faces--
how all that we know is wrong, half-right at best, while
a taste of what we don't know is bearing down on us at
tremendous speed whether or not we are ready. Amazed
that she survived, her friends remembered only that she
had whispered, The rain is on fire.