Friday, December 25, 2009
Sing, Even So
VIRGIN AND CHILD WITH MUSIC AND NUMBERS
Who knows better than you know,
Lady, the circumstances of this event
—meanness, the overhanging terror, and the need
for flight soon—hardly reflect the pledge
the angel gave you, the songs you exchanged in joy
with Elizabeth, your cousin? That was then
or that was for later, another time. Now—.
Still, the singing was and is. Song
whether or not we sing. The song is sung.
Are we cozened? The song we hear is like
those numbers we cannot factor whose overplus,
an indeterminate fraction, seems more than the part
we factor out. Lady, if our despair
is to be unable to factor ourselves in song
or factor the world there, what should our joy
be other than this same integer that sings
and mocks at satisfaction? We are not
fulfilled. We cannot hope to be. No,
we are held somewhere in the void of whole despair,
enraptured, and only there does the world endure.
Lady, sing to this Baby, even so.
Happy holidays from all the hundreds of poets at Rattlesnake Press!