Z—the fly is at the sill.
Z Z—I am silent, riding the center
Of my web, the intricacy of my thought
Spelled out like the stars and the bonds between them.
Z Z Z
My feet make no noise as I dance to the edge
Of my galaxy, this gossamer star-net that catches
The sun filtering gray through the window.
Here at the edge of the void through which
I extend myself, I listen to the fat
Stumbler, him of the single idea
That the glass will suddenly dissolve, the one
Who crawls upward on gluey feet and beats
Stubby wings until he plummets, his eyes
Rotating, twin red turrets. He tries
And sputters, tries and falls again. Satisfied,
I return to the tensile center, all my wits
Sharpened to wait. For have I not written
Out my thoughts to the gods?—I who fell
From heaven on a single strand,
Unraveling my guts, and found this eminence
To attach to, and then that, and then that
In the void, in the whispering chaos
And, groundless, swung myself through the night,
Launched out on the rope of myself to meet
The other like an echo of myself,
Trailing the strong cord of my being
In parallel hexagonals until
The pattern of my soul was laid out. Then
The great square of day shone dim as the white
Eye of the sun climbed up and I saw
The beautiful design
Of myself flex silver in all directions.
The small gnats fly to it in admiration
And sing, fascinated, as I weave them into it
And drink their song, my hunger slightly abated.
Now I await this black-booted fellow.
This drab swashbuckler thick with the dust
Of his fellows who failed before him.
This worn-out singer of song who turns
One eye backward in fear, one forward in desire,
Who thinks there is a world outside the glass
Of color and open spaces, tired of
My twilit world where things silver with thought
And grow dry. Let him bluster and crawl.
Soon now, in his last careering search
For a way out of the dark he’ll find my net,
A shimmer of moonlight sticking to his wings,
A deadly, impossible music that catches
Him in mid-air, a symphony that wraps
Him round though he saw at it frantically
With his violin until it silence him—
Until he hangs, a note like the others
In this universal score I have composed,
My choral symphony, to which I’ve offered up
His small soul in gratitude, that it might swell
Larger, expanding into this darkness—
Until he hangs, a shell as weightless
As if he’d gone through the glass, transfigured
Into the endless contemplation of my being.
Into my very self, another burned-out satellite,
A dead star. Meanwhile I sit
All night at the center,
Filled with a sweet surfeit of being.
My feet sensitive to each wave and vibration
Along its radii, listening for news
Of life at the far-flung edges.