About this Poem 

"Dear Reader, I want you to know I stole the most joyful moment of this poem from Catherine Barnett. I would also like to give you a quote from Jorge Luis Borges's lecture on Buddhism: ‘Plotin says that passing from one life to another is like sleeping in different beds in different rooms.’ At the end of the lecture, Borges says that Buddhism is the path to salvation for millions of people. But he adds, ‘not for me.’”
—Darcie Dennigan

En Route

Darcie Dennigan

The infant asleep in the trough is a Buddhist.
This time of year is very, very old. Over eggs, 
that is all we can conclude, us who are asleep, 
who are dreaming this long dream. 
What if this infant could be awoken? 
There is someone in heaven who for centuries 
an infinite number of centuries, has been 
perfecting himself. Is he here now with us, 
watching for a red globe to roll off the tree into 
wretchedness? To pick up the crying infant is to 
teach it trust and love. But to suffer: 
babe-in-the-manger, we will all be 
the dead man if we live long enough. If we are 
even alive. I am not sure that I exist right now, 
actually.  (I have been a word in a book
I have been a tree
high, high above the Tuileries!)
This infant must learn to cry itself to sleep.
This infant must learn to dream itself awake.
Please god continue my own dreams into 
infinity: must get glitter glue to spell our names 
on the stockings. No, must awake from this 
world. He is crying. No not “he.” Say “it is 
crying.” It is snowing. It is crying. This time of 
year is old. The cold and dark: were they 
not made for us to hold the infant against? 
Shouldn’t we name ourselves and the things 
we love? (darcie.carl.remy.fiammetta.december) 
Of the six destinies they say to be human is the 
hardest but it is the one I have loved the most.
Perhaps because I have not suffered enough.
This time of year might be ancient. Older than 
suffering. If this world were a dream, we would 
speak of it, for the root of dream is noise. Yet! 
The infant is he who is unable to speak… It is 
unspeakable. The infant cries. It pains me.
Oh brusque intuition, oh illogic answer…
I will arrive at you.

Copyright © 2014 by Darcie Dennigan. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on January 31, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2014 by Darcie Dennigan. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on January 31, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Darcie Dennigan

by this poet

poem
The child affixes one of her little pictures to my refrigerator. 
She asks, Can you detect the radiation? 

There is a house, one tree, and grass in dark slashes. A sun
shining. Beneath, in her child letters, she has written Chernobyl. 

At kindergarten they must be having nuclear energy week. 

One could
poem
So this guy walks into a bar and asks for a beer. Sorry, 
      the bartender says, I only sell atom smashers 

      And the guy says well isn't that America for you—
every happy-hour Nelson's a homemade physicist and no thank you, 

just an ice cold one, but it's too late—suddenly, he's on his butt 
      in a