Sunday, November 15, 2020
It is not what we see
in the bright shapes of the day--
a crinkled gold of sunshine
on flowers and steps,
a pond we walk by catching the sky
a watered lawn the right green.
These are there, of course,
and true in their way,
as is the gray of concrete,
rainy morning duty
where we rise with not enough sleep
and drink our coffee, shake our arms,
our shoulders, to rouse ourselves.
Look at the sunshine creeping
under the blinds, we say,
You can do this—get out there!
But behind all that—the sun catching
rainbow on the drops from the sprinkler,
the paper we draw from our briefcases—
lies an ocean that sun and paper
float in, a dark they rise out of, like islands.
An antelope runs the plain.
It leaps the absence,
the lightless fjords between the known.
Its body—not-body—is a black possibility,
a night that turns into the face of day
that turns into so many things—faces
and oranges and isthmuses,
crowded onto our mainland of the real.
Beyond it float fragments and wires
of the ungraspable,
an island of fog
where the unnamed and the unnameable
rub against each other in the mist
and the broad water beyond it all,
the deep below things and their names,
the black of everythingalltogether
not yet born
ready to rise.
—Sarah Webb, 11/16/20