Sunday, March 21, 2010

Jorge Luis Borges

When sorrow lays us low
for a second we are saved
by humble windfalls
by the mindfulness or memory:
the taste of a fruit, the taste of water,
the face given back to us by a dream,
the first jasmine of November,
the endless yearning of the compass,
the book we thought was lost,
the throb of a hexameter,
the slight key that opens a house to us,
the smell of a library, or of sandalwood,
the former name of a street,
the colors of a map,
an unforeseen etymology,
the smoothness of a filed fingernail,
the date we were looking for,
the twelve dark bell-strokes, tolling as we count
of sudden physical pain.
Eight million Shinto deities
travel secretly through the earth.
Those modest gods touch us-
touch us and move on.

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