For Senator Clinton to flourish a copy of the New York Post--the paper that has called her pretty much everything from Satanic to Sapphist--merely because it had the pungent headline "Bush Knew" is not yet her height of opportunism. (The height so far was reached last fall, when she said she could understand the rage and hatred behind the attacks on the World Trade Center because, after all, she had been attacked herself in her time.) But the failure of her husband's regime to take Al Qaeda seriously is the clue to the same failure on the part of the Bush gang.
As if the back streets of our local city
might dispense with their pyrrhic accumulation of dust and wineful tonality,
offer a reprise of love itself, a careless love
rendered grand and persuasive
by its own shy handful of hope, some ballast such as this
on a summer afternoon when the air smells of slaughtered chickens,
and other problems, like the estranged spouse of a good friend,
holler from the passageway. It's always conclusive
in the bungled moment after you try to accomplish something irreducible.
So you say as you return empty-handed from the store,
having forgotten everything--your money, the list.
There is a difference it used to make,
seeing three swans in this versus four in that
quadrant of sky. I am not imagining. It was very large, as its
effects were. Declarations of war, the timing fixed upon for a sea-departure; or,
about love, a sudden decision not to, to pretend instead to a kind
of choice. It was dramatic, as it should be. Without drama,
what is ritual? I look for omens everywhere, because they are everywhere
to be found. They come to me like strays, like the damaged,
something that could know better, and should, therefore--but does not:
a form of faith, you've said. I call it sacrifice--an instinct for it, or a habit at first, that
becomes required, the way art can become, eventually, all we have
of what was true. You shouldn't look at me like that. Like one of those saints
on whom the birds once settled freely.