Benediction with Cello
I can never keep them completely separate—
blessings and the French blessures.
What’s the difference anyway
Think stigmata. Think holy blood.
Torn by storm struck by lightning
marked by char every one of these pines
shows signs a deep gash
bark ripped heartwood gouged.
Beetles move in ants come and then
the probing woodpeckers as streams
of balming resin pour and thick lips form
around the busy wound glowing red
growing hard, its only purpose healing
(unlike the simple clarity of sap
thin conducting daily business).
No wonder we the ever-wounded prize
the amber jewel’s light tremble at tender
resonance rosin on the horsehair bow.
I want to defy what I’ve been taught
fill my lines with scientific names, creatures
I have known—tunicates, ctenophores, mollusca.
And if I were to praise the moon?
In my childhood, Latin names were as ordinary as rice, as likely
to come up at the kitchen table—bryozoans, renilla, butter, please.
And that moon—over water, over mud. Always a prediction—
when to look for limulus, when to dig for chaetopterus.
Every word is ordinary if you enter into relation with it.
No word is ordinary if you enter into relation with it.
Copepod holds the memory of a mother as wondrously as