I am here.
Sister, we died in childhood, remember?
Into birds we died, into their flying.
Toward all of sky we perished so completely
our mother cried, “Where are my little ones?”
Into her voice we died, that white singing
dispersed in day’s greater sentence. And the days,
we disappeared into them and what they confided,
coming and going, but where?
Of noon we died, and of midnight, our longings
the bridges we built toward the future,
longings we wove in secret out of worry,
wonder, and expectancy.
And we died of the future,
of calling and mission only we could keep,
leaping into every favorite season;
sinking into roots, dreams, and books.
Nights beyond the house, we looked up and fell
into the known configurations of stars.
Nights, housed and in bed, we closed our eyes
and died into the unknown constellations:
the empty basket, the jeweled stair,
the table set for a guest.
Into our names we died, then past their precincts,
and would not be persuaded
the world lay kept in other, bigger hands.
Our secret? Where we stood, there stood all worlds.
We died, and we go on dying.
So where would I look for us except
in everything I see.
I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.
If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.
Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.