For Monica Geers-Dahl

We meet and you tell me
that you are a visionary.
Now the visions plop down
for our inspecting gaze,
or like a plaything, for us
to play with and fondle,
or like a maze to explore,
or like a door to enter,
or like a trembling child,
we have to console her
in her shivering, or like
a mild breeze we feel
coolly on our faces,
or something resembling
a winged unruly god delivering
messages from world
to world, or like a tapestry
unfurled, stitching exposed,
not like our clothes, whose
one half we see. Amazed,

I speak back to you with my
dream and it becomes a web
whose threads I cannot find
but whose ends embed
into what surrounds us
like the spores of mushrooms,
it seems there is no escaping
the realm postulated by fantasy,
for a moment we encounter
a gargoyle, black wings monstrous,
we counter his frightening visage
with a spell, realizing this realm
is where magic is demonstrated.
We have entered, the two of us,
and neither hesitated, a landscape
where the greatest and the smallest
things, all things, are forever fated,
the realm of the speaking tempest,
the realm where even if you did
not help you still did what is best.

That god who delivers a late letter
does so as a trick and does so
ever for the better, he knows better
this gift-giving, awareness-giving
god among things, dancing-weaving-
prancing like a shadow’s accomplice
whispering as shadows whisper
as they mingle together, then merge
and become one secretive black,
he delivers late letters only to assist
the merger of supposedly distinct realms,
he is a bridge builder allowing passage
from one bank to the other.
We discover him in our talking,
but it does not utter a word or phrase
in English, maybe one in German,
otherwise he is mute and passes
from one country to the other,
from one face contented to one
distraught, from one history to another

History slowly uncovered, we lower
ourselves to greet him but his crown
of silver and his ambiguous dagger
only stay long enough to--flash
and you are awake, you say, after
so many tired hours I may begin the day,
the look is obvious in your eyes,
your lips, your furrowed brow--flash
and we are made aware of so many sounds
but also something less intrusive than sound,
some mound on the chest abounding
with treasure.  You reach for the screen,
caress the air, give the air itself pleasure,
depress the ear, live the fair measure
set out by the god who comes not exactly
as tempter, but as messenger, teacher,
mentor, fleet of foot, with pristine,
unbreakable feet, the giver of a light touch
which gives to things a confidence,
through the rigid stolid lines drawn over life,

A solid confidence that the festival will break
loose from the bonds to which they are tied,
this confidence, strange, is unshakeable.
We continue to throw on the table more
of ourselves, our prophecies, a visiting idea,
our lives’ fables in this unstable zone
we have found, unstable like earth’s ground,
playing tricks when you may stand still,
a confidence in something deranged, twisted
this way and that like the roads, some paved,
some unpaved, of a zany town far away
from empires of order; the order we dwell
inside is not simply chaos, but an order
lurking in the space where order and chaos
meet, some corner of themselves they share,
where we may dare speak frankly of spirit,
of matter, of what matters drunk on spirit,
where we may look at one another through
the screen and feel there comes breakthrough,
there comes an element to swim through.

An element to sink into, like a pool of wine.
Our eyes shine even with the screen’s criss-
crossing interference, as though the screen
is no more than a filter, bringing the best
light for the realm of sight, the best sound
for the profound, the touch that touches much
beyond our skin, some reviving fabric
through which we could feel healed, the highest
rung of delicate flavor for the savoring tongue,
the thought that cannot be bought or sold
as values on any market. Somehow that old
screen you stapled there to keep out the bugs
does astonishing things, or you do astonishing
things, or I did astonishing things, or we, all
of us combined as if into a playing symphony
do astonishing things, doing whatever we do
yet this something, these things, astonishing,
not diminishing but on the contrary growing
and growing beyond my dream, in size past
your vision, engulfing the fabric of things.

I edge closer to the garage and to the screen
to escape the sun’s searing, somehow we
never moved, despite my moving to stop
sweating in the great heat of the earth,
the heat everything feels in its own way--
even the hot ones feel this heat--despite
your moving away from the window, leaning
back away from the screen, becoming dark,
despite the interruptions and the gaps, the god
playing his endless tricks, we never moved,
we kept holding to this place we loved, because
at bottom what we discovered is that it is love,
this space we are mingling in, and although hate
and suffering and pettiness and countless
trivialities and triumphs are mingling with it,
love is there, and we spoke about love,
we had to because love, that god that does not
seem to go away, is another traveler, another
messenger, teacher, mentor.  Between us is
more than a screen, but the world, everything.

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