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white river poems 409
The sound of the shot
arrived after I was dead,
so I only speak of it
as a certainty, and not
from experience, which is -- '
(and here he glances at me)
`something I no longer have,
though I can understand it.'
-- `But isn't that suffi
After all, to understand
is what we are put here for;
high authorities say so --
Plotinus declares that earth
is strife of opposites, while
in the condition of fi re
(which is where, as I gather,
the bullet transported you)
is all music and all rest.'
And he: `For the exhausted
and distraught. However, when
composed and rested ... lacking
one's circumstances, not least
belly to feed and bare hide
to fi nd coat and britches for
and hands to grip with -- reduced
to being at most a mere
spirited argument, still
one would like to be present
for what is going to happen.
I'd like to have heard that shot.'
-- `Though the end is a slight thing,'
I remind him. And he says,
in a remote, subdued way
that's new to me: `Life itself,
you know I am well aware,
can look to be a slight thing,