Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Here I Am

I found a new poet today: Cheryl Dumesnil. I was absentmindedly flipping through one of those book catalogues that usually sit, collecting dust, in faculty mailboxes. I read a poem called "If," and it began with an epigraph from Rumi: "Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along."

Then all I have to do is
recognize her, lifting

groceries from a cart into
the trunk of her car or

pulling a muddied garden glove
from her hand as I bike

slowly by. That
simple: a cherry branch

shimmers on puddled
water, and fire torches up

within, after so much rain.

As it turns out, revelation is perhaps nothing more than recognition. A woman meets a man one day--a brief encounter. She experiences recognition. That simple. When she goes home to her lover she knows that she will never be able to touch him again. Without realizing it, she has said: hineni. She has intimated her understanding of the place she has been all along. Here I am. She slides right back into her life, as if she had never gone missing.

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