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Immaculate Measure

ISSUE:  Spring 1996
The moon flips its coin
in the deepened plot, black palm

of sky: one night mother-silver,
tonight, full father-gold suspended

there for my taking. I stand visible
outside the hospital, under

its universe-awning: scientists’ relics,
massive wisps of primeval gas, Big Bang’s

night walk away from reasonable
thinking. I want to feel

nothing; only this physical:
wax-star, night-beetle, sky-drum

the leaden axe of cold air
and the earth’s center

candle wick still red, that great
gravitational plow-pull forward

from sky to sky, the roister
of dawn’s birds, then wind

raising its cut glass arms
over these hills. . .

and the physical of my father, carved
permanent as parents are in perfect

shape, burned-in smell
and familial color;

the orbital ingenious curve
of father’s gentle head, framed

and floating from its white
pillow for my phantom grasp

the part of him I want to touch
most. So, when I think

he is going to die, when
I believe the bed in

in the hospital will too become
his body, I resist the whole

of him, placed where we all
started from, as one powerful

dot, distanced and centered at
the end of each morning’s period

typed out, now pore, pinhead,
bedmite, one exhaled atom

and as I see it, reversed
immaculate power above

me, slow galaxy, the child’s
father, father-time, father-
heaven, father-order,
now perhaps retreating back

into his revisionist’s tempest,
my father emerging for air, nominal,

inexact of these sciences, just there
to turn his face toward me again.


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