for my newborn grandson, James
(I cannot speak this directly to him.
It must be in the second person.
What would happen if I told him what is here?
I am not ready to break anything
that is not yet broken open.
The world has just begun.)
His head is in my hands, mouth open,
eyes half-stupored. He is breathing me,
as if I am winter, to warm in his mouth.
He exhales me back to me.
My voice is a silver blue bead he fingers
with a perfect tongue.
He has not learned to forget
that the earth always has her mouth open,
holding the sea and not swallowing,
nesting the trees for their nesting birds,
breathing the sky and not throwing anything away.
Poetry should be heard. Perhaps listen to me read while playing a song for Egon Schiele, below.
Painting "Little Tree (Chestnut Tree at Lake Constance)" by Egon Schiele
Listen to Rachel's song Egon & Gertie. . . .