WHAT I SEE IS THE LIGHT FALLING ALL AROUND US

by sophie

To have understood some small piece of the world
more deeply doesn’t have to mean we’re not as lost
as before, or so it seems this morning, random bees
stirring among the dogwood blossoms, a few here
and there stirring differently, somehow, more like
resisting stillness. . . Should it come to winnowing
my addictions, I’d hold on hardest, I’m pretty sure,
to mystery, though just yesterday, a perfect stranger
was so insistent that I looked familiar, it seemed
easier in the end to agree we must know each other.
To his body, a muscularity both at odds and at one
with how fragile everything else about him, I thought,
would be, if I could see inside. What’s the word
for the kind of loneliness that can feel like swimming
unassisted in a foreign language, for the very first time?

— CARL PHILLIPS

from 6 dec 2015 nyt magazine’s series ‘a picture and a poem’

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