Astonishment for the Sparrows.
ASTONISHMENT FOR THE SPARROWS
I divided my smallest error by my greatest deed.
Nearby I kept the most beautiful cages
so as to recall everything I might contain, not much.
During a solstice, I painted your last reliable map
on the back of my hand, its freckled topography.
I followed small rivers of veins to vast pastures of paleness.
When I converted foot-candles to lux, I noticed how
the light only fell where you laid it down. Secretly
I doubted the idea of measurement--its instruments,
my own. I did not want to forget a single thing
you ever told me even though eventually you wouldn't--
couldn't--still mean each thing. This is how we live forever
in our own minds amid formulas for space and time,
despite the ice and innocent forgeries and with astonishment
for the sparrows who carry their houses in their mouths and
build them quietly again without us: each mouth an engineer,
each airy switch a memory to artfully stitch in, each house
a museum of difficult distances. Sometimes it seems cruel
that the truth erodes itself, sometimes kind.