Michael Taylor

 

TALKS:

POEMS: Metaphysics / Light / The Eel

 

LIGHT

 

Another drought morning after too brief dawn downpour,
uncountable silvery glitterings on the leaves of the withering maples --

 

I think of a troop of blissful approaching Dante,
"a hundred spheres shining," he rhapsodizes, "the purest pearls. . . "

 

then frightening brilliant myriad gleam in my lamp
of the eyes of the vast swarm of bats I found once in a cave,

 

a chamber whose walls seethed with a speechless carpet of creatures,
their cacophonous, keen, insistent, incessant squeakings and squealings

 

churning the warm, rand, cloying air; of how one,
perfectly still among all the fitfully twitching others,

 

was looking straight at me, gazing solemnly, thoughtfully up
from beneath the intricate furl of its leathery wings

 

as though it couldn't believe I was there, or were trying to place me,
to situate me in the gnarl we'd evolved from, and now

 

the trees still heartrendingly asparkle, Dante again,
this time the way he'll refer to a figure he meets as "the life of…"

 

not the soul, or person, the life, and once more the bat, and I,
our lives in that moment together, our lives, our lives

 

his with no vision of celestial splendor, on poem,
mine with no flight, no unblundering dash through the dark,

 

his without realizing it would, so soon, no longer exist,
mine having to know for both of us both that everything ends,

 

world, after-world, even their memory, steamed away
like the film of uncertain vapor of the last of the luscious rain

 

— C.K. Williams