Skip to main content

Smallish


ISSUE:  Spring 2010

The real wing of a real angel . . . ? That
would be the travel of light through the universe.
Now imagine both wings . . . no, we can’t.
Instead, medieval artists set them
onto a figure’s shoulders, made a backpack, made them
glorified epaulettes, so that the Annunciation
can fit into Mary’s room. One task
of a window is to domesticate the sky.
I make this process sound unappealing, I know,
but that isn’t my intention: we’re
the atoms of stars, the atoms of what preceded the stars,
reorganized to the confines of Earth: and so
our understanding needs to breed for smallness.
It’s like “love” or “terror” . . . we require
the smallish people in books and paintings.
Ahab. Anna Karenina. Whitney Houston’s songs.
Because we need to outlast hurt,
Audubon has given us this flamingo
patiently waiting on one exactly rendered leg.
Because we must absorb a cosmos
we can’t comprehend, we’ve been given this infant
by Mary Cassatt, who homes in toward the nipple
with complete faith in supply-and-demand.
Le Funk, an uptown dance bar: all the whoopass
and canoodle of the human race seems squeezed inside
this thumping strobe-lit oblong; “I will always love you,”
Whitney Houston sings, although that “always” gets
relayed in under six minutes of deejay time.
The earliest moon we depicted:
was scored on a stone from a creek.
Big stone: little stone.

0 Comments

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Recommended Reading