Sometime about now
would be a good time to reinvent serious mazurka
and the way shirts unbutton. You could ask yourself,
“Why don’t I just get sick?”
or go out walking through a great windy forest. About now
you might want to empty your pockets
of all those Chinese fortunes you’ve been carrying,
and remember there’s nothing but mystery in the world,
although it hides itself behind the fabric of each day,
shining brightly, and we don’t even know it.
Since this is mid-December, you might wish to celebrate
pomegranates, antique automobiles.
You might wish to drive to an unfamiliar town
and walk its streets, humming “Sha-na-na-na. Sha-na-na-na”
while you look at wreaths on churchyard graves. In mid-December
the streams and rivers run so slowly
they seem to be 17th century sermons or adagios
and the snow waits furiously behind the sky’s metallic sheen.
So you might want to rid yourself of excess caution
and eat figgy pudding, and dance in the old courtyard.
for whole trees are swaying,
and the wilds of your life are your own.
Ascent and Present Vanishing: New Poems (Sarabande Books)