Something New Under the Sun

Steve Scafidi
It would have to shine. And burn. And be 
a sign of something infinite and turn things 
and people nearby into their wilder selves 
and be dangerous to the ordinary nature of 
signs and glow like a tiny hole in space

to which a god presses his eye and stares. 
Or her eye. Some divine impossible stretch 
of the imagination where you and I are one. 
It would have to be something Martin Buber 
would say and, seeing it, point and rejoice.

It could be the mouth of a Coca-Cola bottle 
or two snakes rolling down a mountain trail. 
It would have to leap up out of the darkness 
of a theater and sing the high silky operatic 
note of someone in love. And run naked

slender fingers through the hair of a stranger, 
or your mother or father, or grandfather, or 
a grassy hill in West Virginia. It would live 
on berries and moss like a deer and roam 
the woods at night like the secret life of

the woods at night and when the sun rises you 
could see it and think it is yours and that 
would be enough and it would come to you 
as these words have come to me--slowly, 
tenderly, tangibly. Shy and meanderingly.

From Sparks from a Nine-Pound Hammer by Steve Scafidi. Copyright © 2001 by Steve Scafidi. Reproduced with permission of Louisiana State University Press. All rights reserved.

From Sparks from a Nine-Pound Hammer by Steve Scafidi. Copyright © 2001 by Steve Scafidi. Reproduced with permission of Louisiana State University Press. All rights reserved.

Steve Scafidi

Steve Scafidi

by this poet

poem

Before she is turned away
  for the last time in the moment
before the new world begins
  harrowing her like a field

and the sun and moon disappear
  and the stars and the houses
suddenly become illustrations
  in a book no longer to be

believed burning to ashes—