I have too clear a mind for dreaming,
she said as she ordered her thoughts away
from the distances they were meant to approach
and surround with incantations of thought,
with benedictions that carried cloudiness
into the world of too much logic and fact--
to make the most prodigiously dancing statement,
to make the most motionless music speak.
As she said what she said, newer thoughts
formed a tangible world of their own--
with the sky, and the grass, and the earth
furiously alive, furiously real, peopled
as if by mistake, by the same unidentified men
who demanded their newly made lives be a story
--differences seen, advantage of each admitted--
and that she be the one to tell:
"In the definition of oneself, what is oneself
but what the mind of another has one be?
A stage of flux, a cycle of expression,
a monad of breath, half-fish, half-bird,
a human fully conscious of oneself,
a story of a life not fully told yet imagined
with all the colors one can see and sense
in all four worlds susceptible to love and color?"
She would be fair: she would define each
through his honest love of her, that being
an amorphous and hard to define thing
not lending itself easily to scales or rulers,
laurels of glory or medals of perfection,
well-sharpened wits or post-scientific methods
of finding the culprit by the manner of his deeds,
the manner of his thoughts remaining doubly hidden.
She would be fair; she would collect from each
a love of just his size and shape of mind,
no more than his imagination could contain and give--
a well-formed thought, an inchoate cry, a foppish praise
not so much beautiful or kind but truthfully
the shadow enshrouding his uninvented self
which loved because it lived: not she--
the object of his love but he--love's origin and meaning.
She would give back to each one his identity. Each
would have a story so suited to his needs
that every word would strike a memory
in his not so newly hatched as newly defined love
mimicked with new meanings yet as century old
as himself. A story of his love would be her definition
of what he was and what he would become,
when all chimeras of his own making
fly to the other side of consciousness,
while the reality of clouds, snow, rain
is brusquely shoved away from heaven,
then poured into his lap as well imagined
as only true things can be. Alive and moving,
always turning back into himself,
his mask of words glistening with newer definitions,
he is himself at last. And he is hers.
One of the many becomes the only one whose story
grows to be punctuated by exclamations of her love
of long ago, well before she made him up:
her thought, an artifice in the artificial world,
created him, a man, in the world of rain and snow,
a man in the world of things that breathe and wonder
at man's being one with trees, her as a tree
whose branches sway to give him shade, repose.
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