Just as the dying painter could afford no nude,
was too weak to climb the crags again and so

arranged his lunch of apple, fish in tins
                                                               to mean all beyonds
that had ever like cloud-shadow through high, still grass
passed through him, I

With a few acorns, a chunk of black obsidian, a fallen nest
intact and shapely, all things
                                               freely given, I gather
and give myself over. It’s uneasy.
Escapes me like

a second painter said:
You could not in a day measure the tints on so much

as one side of a frost-bitten apple

and the first rudely stood up from the table in exaltation

when a friend remarked there are no lines in the world,
only gradations. So there are no sphinxes
in the sands of the yous you were

when you sit at the age of the breath you borrow
over a distance of star-births and star-deaths

as I’ve been trying to
stop trying to do
to do.

The hairy undersides of lavender blossoms.
When I sit I sit
with them.

Men and women in prisons tormented by sitting.
When I sit I sit with them, not for
             not them not me.
Sitting is not Japanese. It might not happen

             on a mat. It might be quiet at the tip
of the pen between scratches and
the scratches of the brushes fastened to branches
             scratching the canvas in this pen’s scratching trying
             to signify the rumored experiment.
             Even trees
move a hundred thousand miles a year while standing there, see.
             Don’t try getting one in mind still to the last leaf.
Just sit. The way I’ve been instructed to imagine it,
             sitting sits. Sitting sits me.

Clouds slip over the corrugated cliff
of the rust-walled warehouse, that
             white again blue again orange
pleasant to daily pass as.
             Edges are flowing away.
Sit away and hear. Child by the road.

Teeth graze
the nipple and grass thrusts up
through the trailing leaves
             of the willow. Siting sits
inter-vascular with seed-sloppy milkweed pods where they fleck
the grassy horizon like
             lash-clotting globs of mascara. Sitting sits
lowering its mountain-shadow-lid down
over this great bloodshot eye.