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.
"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.’”