Isn’t it the work of those of us who work to make new tools
with the tools we are given, hammering matter
into matter more adapted to the hand than to the memory
of a hand, less to the past than to the path to what comes next?
And isn’t it the work of the next adaptation in part to evince
specifically by being what it is, regardless of detail and whether it
wants to or not, the matter of persistence through change,
the hammering of being into time, which is itself the work?
And so it was I took myself downriver, early in the midst
of the worldwide sickness, the light on me knowledgeable
as all light is knowledgeable, silent archive
of everything that happens—it puts you in your place, the light
put me in my place. Light on the surface of East River in March,
light July through October, light at noon on slopes of undulations
pearling for a moment till it gleams up on the peaks, the light
like melon ribbon, light dribbling from the mouth of a mythical
beast like Blake’s dragon, but in effect, closer to a nebulous
walrus made of fire. I am the nebulous walrus made of fire. I walk
among you unrecognized but laughing. There is so much beauty
left to see in this world. And I became what I am now to see it.