The Difference

In those days, fearlessness
hadn’t come to mean bravery yet, just an absence
of fear. What they called holiness could mean
the drama of reindeer stampeding
counter-clockwise in the snow – the soft fawns,
at the centre; or a thing as ordinary
as carpenters hammering timber
into house-dom, not far, but hidden,
the sound of it; a holy sound. We’re only broken, then,
I remember thinking, Not stranded and broken.
From across the room’s dark-filling meadow
the dog of change swims toward me, like it’s trying
hard to say something hard
that it cannot say.


Coltsfoot, for what it looks like; dandelions,
because once there were lions. Some animals
they knew by call – some, by touch. They
planted milkweed and dill, red clover, and it
worked: the bees came back. It was still
exciting, to hold a secret. Over absolute truth,
they preferred suggestion. ‘A river implies,
doesn’t prove, an ocean.’ There’s something

in me that’s brutal that I can’t make stop, though
to anyone looking I’m also anyone: showering,
after; running late for the party – still not
dressed for it; wondering aloud to myself,
This shirt, with the stain that – in the gathering
dark – seems barely noticeable, now? Or that one?

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