TO GAIN SECOND SIGHT
Lie down in a wheatfield, he said. Know something
well as a cloud rim, like Gould’s Spirituals,
how they alter every time a new choir sings,
yet stay the same. Like the first winter snow
settling onto a dark driveway. . . a painting by Thomas Cole
you stare at until your fingertips start screaming
“Stop being incredible!” Pull apart rainbows.
Lie down in a wheatfield, he said, know something
so many miles from yourself it turns astonishing
as Michigan’s Black Octagonal River, as in Idaho
how the Palouse heads off, rolls back, everything looking
well as a cloud rim, like Gould’s Spirituals
when the voices shift, tremolo, vertigo, undertow
before they crash upon God. You’ve been spiraling
out of a nightmare. Calm yourself. Go Largo
(How it alters every time a new choir sings!),
skip Allegro, halt Presto. Lost Soul, you need to bring
yourself up short, gaze around, until your shadow
lengthens into the night oaks, into stenciling,
yet stays the same, like the first winter snow
twenty, forty, sixty years ago—even now
sleighride beautiful. Eat marmalade. Wear calico. Don’t fling
your final rosebuds into some death row.
Reject long-suffering. Learn quiet, quieting.
Lie down in a wheatfield.