Come the white morning
I’ll cross the earth on my face,
let the barrel of light tip over
one more time
and let’s just call it sunrise.
I don't know anything
about blowing a child out
like a balloon, or what comes after—
that dream like a waterfall sealed in a flask
close to God’s hip.
It's night now with those squares
of light all over the world,
there where a woman has been
spreading her own light onto the windows
of her house just like I have
rubbed oil onto your belly.
Mothers daub their fire to the glass
so even a scarecrow like me
out wandering the night
can take his chin out from inside his coat,
there where his own lantern is hissing.
To gaze through the glass and stop
the crunch of footfalls over the bones
of things I cannot fix.
Do you know how many hobos like me
are out there where the wind howls?
We gaze up from where her
fire pours over the snow:
because we know she is in there
doing her soft work.
John Rybicki from the Paris Review