by Albert Goldbarth
If you write a poem about love . . .
the love is a bird,
the poem is an origami bird.
If you write a poem about death . . .
the death is a terrible fire,
the poem is an offering of paper cutout flames
you feed to the fire.
We can see, in these, the space between
our gestures and the power they address
—an insufficiency. And yet a kind of beauty,
a distinctly human beauty. When a winter storm
from out of nowhere hit New York one night
in 1892, the crew at a theater was caught
unloading props: a box
of paper snow for the Christmas scene got dropped
and broken open, and that flash of white
confetti was lost
inside what it was a praise of.
Copyright © 2007 by Albert Goldbarth Reprinted from The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems