Faint is the flame

If he never breaks bread alone
If hate never tears at his heart
If he never cries out in the midnight hours
then he doesn’t know you—
   you indifferent, oblique, contemptible
      heavenly powers
She came straight from that dream to tell me
   she’d always been a liar
He who knows he burns
   burns in a very small fire
At the start of the year
   I laugh, eat, drink and smoke
I collapse on the living room floor
   like a corpse
“The marvelous things of this earth are divine”
   Why do we say that?
“I never say that”
My everyday objects—distilled
   and in disarray
Visceral compassion—listen,
   we want to be understood—
Really listen
Economy is grace—
   like the certainties of another age
The truly silent stay silent, uncertain,
   even when they have something to say
True love (the unreachable) steeped
   in our flesh
Faint is the flame
   that words express

-November 27, 2008-