Posts Tagged ‘illusion’

Just because we cannot touch a rainbow
doesn’t mean it does not exist.
And just because a rainbow is predictable—
sunlight bent in a water drop
at an angle of forty-two degrees
and separated into all its wavelengths—
doesn’t mean it is not a miracle.
How many times have I been unable to touch you,
and yet I am certain of love.
And hasn’t a downpour taught us
to see all our own colors,
shown us how to bend to the world
in ways startling and new.
And isn’t it strange, how love
keeps shifting, changing place,
moves even as we move,
all the while shining, astonishing us
with what a little light in a storm can do.

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running and running

but the finish line keeps moving

until at last

the wise voice asks

are you sure this is a race?

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it feels so great,
that next step I’m not sure
how to take—
what is it but some arbitrary measure
I’ve imposed on infinity

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less than the width
of my thumb, the distance between
Venus and the moon—

and you, in arm’s reach,
light years away

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a haikuling inspired by Rumi’s Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi

as one veil falls
to the floor, already
another veil to drop

(Divan xxxv)

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that elephant over there?
oh, yeah, I like to tell myself
it can fit in my pocket


don’t yell at me
I yell at him—
dead sunflower in the vase


do you think
this elephant in my pocket
makes me look fat?


too hot for my fingers
this piece of steamed carrot so I throw
it in my mouth


just before the snooze
alarm goes off again, a whole
dream in three minutes


I don’t know
if truth becomes visible but
elephants do


that scar, I pick
it even as I say out loud
stop picking it

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Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
—Albert Einstein

Am I a woman dreaming she’s a bear?
Or bear who’s dreaming she’s a woman, lost?
I cannot find the answer anywhere.

One thing’s for sure, the bear is not aware
she might be dreaming. She is hungry, cross.
Am I a woman dreaming she’s a bear?

The woman, on the other hand, she cares
if it’s dream. Are these her teeth? Her paws?
She cannot find the answer anywhere.

The she-bear lifts her nostrils to the air
and sniffs. She feels the edge of coming frost.
Am I a woman dreaming she’s a bear?

The woman falls down to her knees and stares,
confused by her wide footprints in the moss.
She cannot find the answer anywhere.

It’s time to sleep? It’s time to wake? I swear
I cannot say. Are these my hands? Or claws?
Am I a woman dreaming she’s a bear?
I cannot find the answer anywhere.

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Five Undoings

wearing that story
for so long I forgot
I had slipped it on


bad hem day—
tripping on my own
once upon a time


rumors of my self
catch on morning sun, snag on
the wake of herons


with one hand, I stitch
the small tears, with the other,
I rip out the seams


the scent
of hyacinth

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For an hour today, she practices escaping
from the stairs. There is no jail here,

only our pretense of bars. She,
the bank robber. I the police.

I lock her up again with my invisible
jail cell key. Then I swallow the key,

I throw it away, but she always produces another,
an invisible skeleton key she’s been hiding

somewhere around her and she lets
herself out again, then hovers nearby

to be caught. I feign dismay. She’s
escaped, again! And search for her,

looking right through her. Until,
aha! I say, and grab her. She never

struggles much, almost hurls her body
at me to be caught. So similar to

how I want to be held, forever,
I say, and then the next moment

I long for escape. Oh sweet
imagination, how real it all can seem,

like this girl slipping away from the stairs,
saying for the fourteenth time, catch me again.

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I asked the night to
swallow me, it said, Darling
I already did

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