The tree azalea overwhelms the evening with its scent,
defining everything and the endless fields.
Walking away, suddenly, it slices off and is gone.
The visible object blurs open in front of you,
the outline of a branch folds back into itself, then clarifies—just as you turn away—
and the glass hardens into glass
as you go about taking care of things abstractedly
one thing shelved after another, as if they were already in the past,
needing nothing from you until, smashing itself on the tile floor,
the present cracks open the aftermath of itself.
About this poem:
"The poem is part of a series of poems on photography and seeing; here I try to address several experiences that manifest as highly defined and also as blurry or abstract: scents, visible images, the present moment. I had dropped a glass on the kitchen floor; the azalea came from Vermont last August; a friend made a photogram of a blurry glass jar. I always wonder how these things gather themselves together and insist."