If We Let Them the Boys Will Embrace Us
FINALIST FOR 2016 AUBURN WITNESS POETRY PRIZE HONORING JAKE ADAM YORK
wrestling on the ground, says Rilke, “like some dumb animal
set upon by bees.”
They suffer. And to know is enough. We exhaust ourselves
with each other. “Like it was making him mad,” says the officer,
“that I’m shooting at him.”
It’s the same thing, saying something different.
How the paper calls it
“animal-on-animal hate,” or the way the docent describes Piero de Cosimo’s painting
of a man pulling a bear off a lion eating another bear “justice,” or what the woman
at the checkout counter says to me, “the devil is busy, the devil is always busy.”
It is ourselves not listening, while what’s heard goes on, calling
them home for dinner, another boy, all those thugs.
How can we forget?
“I’ve had my dead, and I’ve let them go,” says Rilke. So consoled,
the poet, so at home. Like that.