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 The hieroglyphics of sunset written on the bay's water: your
sad eyes the moon has lit its little fires inside of. The wind
untangling itself from streetlights and trees: your voice hollowed out
by a loneliness I can't name. The heat lightning hesitating in the
dark corridors of the night: the meanings for your love that flicker
like a worn neon bulb. More and more these things shimmer on the
spider's web of despair. Resonance is what the scientists call it,
the heart's quivering responding to a nightingale's trill.
It's the way two molecules line up the exact same way, or how two
split beams of a light echo each other's movements no matter what
the other encounters. Resonance. A far train sounds, a hunter's
echo fills the forest, and I shudder to think of a life without you. The
wake of a long-gone boat squints along the shore and my love starts to
ache like a phantom limb. The screen here is filled with tiny worlds of
water-- it's like looking through the thousand eyes of a fly at a
world where we can be everywhere at once. It doesn't matter what
seems to be only here. In Prague you can see Albrecht Durer's Feast
of the Rose Garlands
 that's missing the fly he painted on the virgin's lap some
hack covered over in restoration. In this way we understand how
important it is to love every lost detail--the phone numbers, gloves,
scarves, checkbooks, flowers, loves, glasses, stories, earrings, keys,
the stones we walk on that echo an age we have forgotten, the language
you invent as you sleep, your words that ignite the stars, your words
that rise like birds from the trees. What is it that you talk to in
words that leave their shapes like receding waves? Resonance: the way
sounds echo among interrelated counters in the head. I heard once of
fishermen who could hear the low rumbling sounds from the hollowed heads
of croaker, hardhead, fish you have to answer just to relieve your own
loneliness. It's the same way with seers who talk to stones.
Because every word we say means how alone we are. Maybe our memories are
useless, maybe our words won't save us. In Baghdad, Shiite militia
drill holes in the heads of Sunnis to make them talk. I did not want to
have to say that but it's a matter of resonance, one thing leading
to another the way a hang glider catches thermals that keep rising,
surrounded by hawks on the one hand, by vultures on the other. Now the
heat lightning has stopped. The wind rests its head on a branch. I
don't know what else to tell you. The cicadas' feet are
stirring to song. Maybe resonance is the texture of feeling, the depth
of a look that is something like the shadows stars cast on the sky. I am
imagining what you'll say, words like clouds avalanching on top of
each other, these little details, a glass of stout that froths over, the
wine stain on your lips, until one day, all of a sudden it is today,
now, and you turn to me, and speak without talking, meanings that rise
like steam after rain, a touch like a cool cloth on the head of a dying
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Author:Jackson, Richard (American poet)
Publication:Prairie Schooner
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jun 22, 2009
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