This poem I’ve always loved by Olena Kalytiak Davis (1963-) feels so eerily apt right now.
Lately, I am capable only of small things.
Is it enough
to feel the heart swimming?
Jim is fine. Our first
garden is thick with spinach
& white radish. Strangely,
it is summer
but also winter & fall.
In response to your asking:
I fill the hours
then lick them shut.
Today, not a single word, but the birds
as if someone had suggested
What is that perfect thing
some one who once believed in god said?
Please don’t misunderstand:
We still suffer, but we are
“Between Going and Staying”
by Octavio Paz (1914-1998)
Between going and staying the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.
All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can’t be touched.
Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.
Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.
The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.
I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.
The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go: I am a pause.
translated by Eliot Weinberger