of the skinny ten-year-old playing in the woods
near grandfather's farm in Burkeville, of all the moons
I watched tremble in the evening skies and the rope
swing with a tractor tire on the end of it,
the wonder of centrifugal force, the spinning
majesty of the dervish, and even though I did not know yet about Rumi,
I knew that god lived at the edge of the gaining
spiral, that the whirl of blood in my brain
matched the spin of the cosmic wheel, the one
god that rules over all of us, and infinitely so.
Even without the big tire, I'd spin
amid the lightning bugs in a Virginia dusk
when the dark fell and the stars came out,
those regions of big dippers and bears,
and with each breathless circling
I'd feel the pull of something greater
than myself—scrambled neurons,
gaping ganglia and pulsating
arteries, my body itself the scattered verse
of eons, my body electric and pierced
by bug light and cosmic night. Oh, great
god almighty, why did I capture those
little angels and trap them in a jar?
Where soon their tiny lights would fade
and only an insect would remain, where
once there had been that sweet
yellow dancing on the margins
of tobacco fields and woods that rose
and fell in the swelter, the sea of dusk.
A journal of narrative writing.
I Give You This Ghost