Why I Write Poems

When a man in love, despite the miracle of this love,
finds himself feeling alone and cannot help but wonder
why, he rages around his neighborhood, uproots trees
in search of answers, and, finding none, plucks the birds
from their boughs and builds for them a nest against
the unsteady swell of his breast. Their solemn songs
warm his blood, and he is so much moved by their music
it becomes impossible for him to move. He wants to shout
the name of his Beloved, but he fears he no longer knows
how to make her listen. It is a nightmare for him, this
elusiveness of language, how small the word love feels.
Such a man has no choice but to surrender himself
to poetry, let the slow music of it bring him to his knees—
the knot of birds still huddled at his chest, purring,
witnesses to the war within. What he wants are words,
windows he can slide open, invite the world inside, slip out
like a cat when no one is looking. Until the words come,
his hand is kept locked over his lips, the taste of her
face on his fingertips, and he thinks back to a not-so-
distant time when he gambled away whole nights
trying to conjure her face inside his mind—such it was,
the weight of his longing. It hurts sometimes, even now,
to roam alone inside his thoughts, as if lost in a forest
where hungry wolves prowl and sunlight is reduced
to a scatter of luminous spots that shimmy and shift
like small animals. Poetry, then, is the escape, is freedom
to a man in love, and he is willing to walk forever
towards it. However long it takes, it never takes that long.
Not if he listens carefully enough, keeps himself busy
with longing.  And look what he has just found: This poem,
it is just for you.  Step through it, inside, into this darkness
where birds of all songs and sorts come to roost, their lungs
ready to burst with a yearning for you. Your presence,
let it be like the sun to them, be the songs they hunger for,
be a shock of solace for that man, a silhouette standing
like a leafless tree in the distance. Your face, let its glow
magic away the wolves, and your silence be the language
of a bliss that exists beyond language.  Stay awhile, and sit
on the forest floor, listening to the lower frequencies
of our love.  And those quiet creatures of light falling
like gems from the sky—let them converge at you.