VEIL


for my son

Have you noticed yet how it rushes at us,
this field of vision, this gale, this deluge?
Before you were born I made a habit
of collecting the openings in it,
though they always evaporated
when I tried to paste them down.

I don’t mean those moments
when a stick rising up
from the surface of a lake
appeared as the head of a loon,
or when a butterfly fluttered
down onto the path
in the form of a leaf,
or even the many valuable items
I briefly thought I found
in the tinsel that littered my walks.

I am thinking more of the moments
wherein a patch of particular hue
could not be made into sky, nor cloud,
though it lodged itself in the sky
and among the clouds. I am thinking
of the absence of wall that occasionally
arose across from my bed. I would stare
at these openings in the weave,
at the bright passages in the landscape
that would not cohere.

Whether those fissures were encounters
with the numinous or simply glimpses
of the wizard behind his curtain,
I always wanted them to last.
And then you arrived with a face
I could not give form to, no matter
how much light poured in our windows.
I could not even take a picture
of who I thought you were,
though I tried, over and over.

I look into those photographs now
for the you that you have finally become,
but find only the thinnest threads,
as if, in your coming through,
the veil clung to you for a time
then slipped—though slowly—away.


appeared in MotherVerse