To Not Have

I would like to make beautiful things like a real Renaissance man,

But my flying machines have all crashed and burned.

I would like to make something and have it belong to me,

Like a soundbite manifesto I can sell for my own worth,

But the steel that swords are forged from belongs not to the smith nor the singed sinner,

Not to earth nor the third-eyed miner,

Nor to the rust that kisses it in forgotten places, nor even to itself.

And these words that I type and this paper I write on surely are not mine,

Nor these fingers I write with, the rippling tendons, dust before too long and before

Just bundles of circles and cells. Still, there’s sacredness in the letters,

The straight-edged glance delivered by a glass eye and sometimes silver tongue.

And whether these thoughts are mine, ephemeral like the singularity of snowflakes, doesn’t matter,

As something peeks from atop the great dung heap like a little green sprout in springtime,

Wondrous in nature, that belongs to nothing and is nothing and has nothing

To do with all this but is here nonetheless, in the sunshine it found

In its opening. And this I offer,

The awe of a warm night and moths around the dirty light at the back door,

The cyclical tumbling of swallows and the world-arcs of Canada geese who,

Ceasing their pointed charge, rest for a time in the yard,

Yours to not have.


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