John Williams

(29 August 1922 - 3 March 1994 / San Diego, California)

A Benediction Of The Air


In every presence there is absence.

When we're together, the spaces between
Threaten to enclose our bodies
And isolate our spirits.
The mirror reflects what we are not,
And we wonder if our mate
Suspects a fatal misreading
Of our original text,
Not to mention the dreaded subtext.
Reality, we fear, mocks appearance.
Or is trapped in a hall of mirrors
Where infinite regress prevents
A grateful egress. That is,
We can never know the meaning
Of being two-in-one,
Or if we are one-in-two.
What-I-Am is grieved at What-I'm-Not.
What-We-Should-Be is numbed by What-We-Are.

Yes, I'm playing word games
With the idea of marriage,
Musing over how even we can
Secularize Holy wedlock.
Or to figure it another way,
To wonder why two televisions
In the same house seem natural symbols
Of the family in decline.

Yet you are present to me now.
I sense you keenly, at work,
Bending red in face to reach
A last defiant spot of yellow
On those horrific kitchen cabinets.
Your honey hair flecked with paint;
Your large soft hidden breasts
Pushing down against your shirt.
The hemispheres of those buttocks
Curving into uncompromising hips.
To embrace you would be to take hold
Of my life in all its substance.

Without romance, I say that if
I were to deconstruct myself
And fling the pieces at random,
They would compose themselves
Into your shape.
But I guess that is romantic,
The old mystification-
Cramming two bodies
Into a single space.

Amen!

Our separation has taught me
That, dwelling in mind,
The corporeality
Of mates has spiritual mass
Which may be formulated:
Memory times desire over distance
Yields a bodying forth.
Thus I project into the
Deadly space between us
A corposant,Pulsating a language
That will cleave to you
In the coolness of sleep
With insubstantiality
So fierce as to leave its dampness
On the morning sheets,
Or so gentle
As to fan your brow
While you paint the kitchen.
A body like a breath,
Whispering the axiom
By which all religions are blessed:

In every absence there is presence.

Bene
Bene
Benedictus.
< br>
Submitted by David Shackelford

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Form:


Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: romantic, marriage, romance, mirror, family, memory, together, house, work, hair, red, sleep, fear

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Benediction Of The Air by John Williams )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Tonight I can write the saddest lines, Pablo Neruda
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  7. If, Rudyard Kipling
  8. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Out of the bosom of the Air
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. Myself, Rimni chakravarty
  2. A tale of two trees, Ricky Nyairo
  3. Priceless Price, Persian Nightingale
  4. Cacophonous eves, Priyanka Bhowmick
  5. MY SIMPLE TASTES, Hannington Mumo
  6. I Feel So Lonely/So Left Out Of It, Shalom Freedman
  7. Cliche, Rimni chakravarty
  8. Acceptance of peace., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  9. What peace accepts?, Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  10. It, Lawrence S. Pertillar
[Hata Bildir]