Do spaces matter without context?
Atoms to cells to Wilma to planets
and beyond more empty spaces.
All might be forgiven today,
prescriptive facts unfaced,
turned to continuous movement
in a land of distant windmills.
Wilma came when everything was burning,
the seagulls all aflame
mapping smoky contrails,
fireflies in squadrons
that once were swarms of darker insects.
She taught me what I didn’t know,
I didn’t pay attention.
Instead with colored pencils (grey)
I drew the haloed sun.
Come with me, she said,
we’ll pass a seaside night.
In the floundering light
of fiery fish, we’ll watch
the great submersible arise.
It breached with steel blades spinning,
shedding the boiling sea,
and on her orthopedic pipes,
hollow tubes of bone with Latin names,
Wilma played a slow and final waltz.
I chose to turn aside, to study dried out seaweed,
fragile feathers ossified,
sand blooms glued with salt
at the edges of the tide—
smaller things, the attentions of a boy
short-sighted, lost on childhood’s beach.
I always knew my words were wasteful,
plays on chessboards without squares,
all purposed to establish,
to sacrifice, please and suffer—
it’s how we know we are,
yet I never spoke the truth.
Now petulant smoke and ashes
puff from my open mouth,
and in my mind, her echo:
On one special day, a falling drop
of magic from another world
will break all momentary reason,
and between the sun in red and red,
the impossible will flourish.
And I remember
her path to lost forgiveness.
Cervantes Don Quixote (1605)
in a crystal cavern