Published October 23, 2008

Visione del solenzio
Angolo vuoto
Pagina senza parole
Una lettera scritta sopra un viso
Di pietra e vapore
Inutile finestra
— Caetano Veloso, "Michelangeo Antonioni"

A Useless Window illustration


I could not throw off the wings;
they had to be cut from me.
A red room speaking
of the night's egress.
The wings are speaking.
A white bird
in your open hand
in this red room:
the brilliance of the moment
in which the invisible gleams
from the edges.

Dayside yet darkling
This too may expand into nothingness
Not tear or collapse
When even the stars themselves will have moved
beyond the horizon
beyond sight
To look at a night sky completely bereft
and still come to know

Today, you not whispering
me, not whispered
Light travels from its source
and arrives unseen
Observes the snow
The chemical composition of
A heart
A fist of ice or atom of hydrogen
The commonplace might be miraculous
and never enough

A Useless Window illustration by Dana PetersOther,
Was it built for this?
I thought, but seem mistaken.
If it could be so divided
I would hold it outside my body.
This is my palm.
You place (----) in it
which is to say
you place (----) on it.
There are other containers;
I do not know them as well.
If you could look at me
when my words find you;
If you could tell me
that they have arrived.

This future in longing
a length; a thread:
We could build constellations
across the landscapes;
We could measure the degrees
in arms lengths
so that they would stay fixed
and knowable in their boxes and frames;
And us too, measurable,
the finite is not romantic, but required
of us.

Ideas of primary bodies are resemblances
and the ideas produced by these have no resemblance.
There is nothing like our ideas,
existing in the bodies themselves.
The wings.
I held them in my palm afterward.
They kept beating.
I put my hand to my ear;
I felt the sound but could not hear it.
Take them from me.
Take them.

are you hearing this?
The night sky dims:
We will lose our way
in these red chambers.
Our palms with the look
of blood already.

When it was cut,
divided, or ripped from me,
I wrapped it up in wood.
If I hand it to you now,
don't ask for my body.
My body's a token compared to this.
You cannot have both.


Poem Copyright © Carrie Olivia Adams