How Long Should You Look at the Earth’s Face?
Until you have memorized it, feature for feature, so
you can remember it, like your mother’s voice
in the room of your skull, speaking to you for the last time
over the phone, saying, “Are you happy?” Until
you are dumb with astonishment at having been given
so much: waterfalls, the ocean of air, insects
consumed with the world of insects, the sacrifice
of blossoms, fruit that ripens and dies.
Until you know that no matter what other life you live,
you will remember the smell of river water,
the chemical odor of ozone after rain, the solidity
of objects and the shadows that follow them,
food in your mouth, skin against your skin.
From Light, Moving (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2009)