Some songs are placeholders
for what you’ll want to write when you get better,
because when you’re sick you don’t know it yet.
The birds clamp down on everything but what do you hear?
White noise. The summer sun beats down on you with all its menace,
and warm rain.
I never got so wet as when I nearly drowned
and stopped wearing a hat.
Some songs are channels—songs that you can “tune” in to
when you have time to hear them, because there is no time
in the unending sequence of your daily pattern, drives
back and forth to your little office, hiding out in the corner
watching the birds digging up worms.
There is a little swath of grass
by the parking lot which people mistake for a park. I see them walk a dog,
and a baby. Now it is a petting zoo.
Some songs are apologies. I’m sorry. The birds are dying too fast.
Some are automatic. Those are the best. You can kneel them
kneeling up out of you like a kneel to the throat, and that is when
you know what it is. The word is kneel. God wants me to kneel.