There are times when they gather at the edge of your life,
shadows slipping over the far hills, daffodils
blooming too early, the dark matter of the universe
that threads its way through the few thousand blackbirds
that have invaded the trees out back. Every ending
sloughs off our dreams like snakeskin. This is the kind of
black ice the mind skids across. The candlelight burning down
into the sand. The night leaving its ashes in our eyes.
Richard Jackson, opening strophe to “Alternate Endings,” from Resonance (The Ashland Poetry Press, 2010)
Made-Up Dreams | Built To Spill
If I call it pain, and try to touch it
With my hands, my own life,
It lies still and the music thins,
A pulse felt for through garments.
If I lean into the desire it starts from—
If I lean unbuttoned into the blow
Of loss after loss, love tossed
Into the ecstatic void—
It carries me with it farther,
To chords that stretch and bend
Like light through colored glass.
But it races on, toward shadows
Where the world I know
And the world I fear
Threaten to meet.
Tracy K. Smith, from section 2 of “Duende,” in Duende: Poems (Graywolf Press, 2007)