by Alice Bolstridge

All living, dying things I touch or see
deceive my knowing the world’s not me,
it’s other: bear, rock, beech tree.

Touching you, my other, gives such pleasures
I think I’ve entered paradise, measured
and crossed world bounds.  I’m just assured

I’ll not be lonely anymore when the world
dissolves in darkness and all is void
again, all one, all unborn.  No rod

or road.  Like Job, I cry out for presence
I behold.  When world and I are one scent
there is no smell, and I can’t know myself

nor you.  But, in fertile absence, something breathes,
beckons.  We waver, flutter like falling leaves.