It is Late, But Not Too
There is a point in the day,
usually the end
—sometimes the very
(and more often that, lately)
when the beauty of the world,
the severe, almost mean gorgeousness
of the sun
or the moon
or your face
grabs me like a hand by the shoulder,
rough and sudden and tumbling
like I sometimes grab my dog when
his big white ears are sailboats and nothing more
It pushes me down
and says, "Sit. Listen. Would you?"
And I do. I do.
But it is late. And, some nights, the shame of this
is more than I can stand;
The if-only-I’d-done-this-sooners almost spread their fog,
over beauty's coastline.
What I think I know about when
a story should begin, or end,
almost wastes the little time
we do have.
Almost, but not quite.
I am writing this just after sitting on the sand, for five minutes
While the sun set, I sat: skirt wet, knees swollen,
heart full as a shell (something alive in there, I think)
And for a little while, I let the tide of my breath
wash over the shame-pressed shore of me.
I let my forehead press, for a second even rest
against the forehead of the sky, and said.
I am here.
Late, but not too.
With some regrets, but with more hope.
Afraid, but happy.
I love meeting you when it is late;
when it is nearly dark and we
don’t have that much time
to see the sky turn purple then pink then fire
dark as a kiss—which, if you look
is not black at all but
pulsing with color,
alive with constellations undefined.
Maybe the end is not really the end,
but let's say it is.
Maybe we have more time than we thought,
but, let's say there’s not.
When we feel beauty’s hands grab
and pull, let's stop.
When I hear the last light of day call my name,
from over the wall of shame, from across the dunes of
trying another way
I am going to sit, again,
wherever I am,
for a little while.