Sea Change

Jorie Graham

One day: stronger wind than anyone expected. Stronger than
          ever before in the recording
          of such. Un-
natural says the news. Also the body says it. Which part of the body – I look
          down, can
          feel it, yes, don’t know
where. Also submerging us,
          making of the fields, the trees, a cast of characters in an
          unnegotiable
drama, ordained, iron-gloom of low light, everything at once undoing
          itself. Also sustained, as in a hatred of
          a thought, or a vanity that comes upon one out of
          nowhere & makes
one feel the mischief in faithfulness to an
          idea. Everything unpreventable and excited like
mornings in the unknown future. Who shall repair this now. And how the future
          takes shape
          too quickly. The permanent is ebbing. Is leaving
          nothing in the way of
trails, they are blown over, grasses shoot up, life disturbing life, & it
          fussing all over us, like a confinement gone
          insane, blurring the feeling of
          the state of
          being. Which did exist just yesterday, calm and
true. Like the right to
          privacy – how strange a feeling, here, the right
          consider your affliction says the
          wind, do not plead ignorance, & further and further
          away leaks the
past, much further than it used to go, beating against the shutters I
          have now fastened again, the huge mis-
          understanding round me now so
          still in
the centre of this room, listening – oh,
          these are not split decisions, everything
          is in agreement, we set out willingly, & also knew to
          play by rules, & if I say to you now
          let’s go
somewhere the thought won’t outlast
          the minute, here it is now, carrying its North
          Atlantic windfall, hissing Consider
          the body of the ocean which rises every instant into
          me, & its
          ancient e-
          vaporation, & how it delivers itself
to me, how the world is our law, this indrifting of us
          into us, a chorusing in us of elements, & how the
          intermingling of us lacks in-
          telligence, makes
reverberation, syllables untranscribable, in-clingings, & how wonder is also what
          pours from us when, in the
          coiling, at the very bottom of
          the food
          chain, sprung
from undercurrents, warming by 1 degree, the in-
          dispensible
plankton is forced north now, & yet further north,
          spawning too late for the cod larvae hatch, such
that the hatch will not survive, nor the
          species in the end, in the right-now forever un-
          interruptible slowing of the
          gulf
stream, so that I, speaking in this wind today, out loud in it, to no one, am suddenly
          aware
          of having written my poems, I feel it in
          my useless
hands, palms in my lap, & in my listening, & also the memory of a season at its
          full, into which is spattered like a
          silly cry this in-
          cessant leaf-glittering, shadow-mad, all over
          the lightshafts, the walls, the bent back ranks of trees
          all stippled with these slivers of
          light like
breaking grins – infinities of them – wriggling along the walls, over the
          grasses – mouths
          reaching into
          other mouths – sucking out all the
air – huge breaths passing to and fro between the unkind blurrings – & quicken
          me further says this new wind, &
          according to thy
          judgment, &
I am inclining mine heart towards the end,
          I cannot fail, this Saturday, early pm, hurling myself,
wiry furies riding my many backs, against your foundations and your
          best young
tree, which you have come outside to stake again, & the loose stones in the sill.