Daily Archives: December 13, 2021

The White Rug

They always want you
face down on the white rug.

Want you to be afraid
to stain it.

Want you to bleed
somewhere out of sight.

Some extraordinary
wounds you’ve got there,

they say. But how old
are they? They can’t still

be bleeding? You must be
mistaken. It must have been

something else, something
you did. Don’t stain

the white rug with it.
Crawl over there if you’re

going to do that. The rug
is fragile, and expensive.

We don’t want to have to
replace it, or dye it — although

we would know
it was a white rug to begin

and still is under the cover
of color. And if we tore it out

we’d just put another white one
down. Meanwhile, 

you’re still bleeding and
face down on the rug as they

begin to clean up around you then
tie a rope around your neck

and start to drag you off
to other rooms where the rugs

aren’t white but the color
of older blood and also, maybe,

 the ash of many bonfires,
black paint on a graveyard marker,

dirt from their disturbed 
basement floor:

from where you’re lying,
nothing looks or smells clean.

What It Would Take

What it will take you
to be present now,
this deep in time
from your starting point,
is the willingness
to chase presence
along ruts in your road
until it stands still
for you. For you,

it will pull off
the trail
and watch until 
you see it and then
it will gesture.
To see it and respond
you will have to 
stop. Stop

and step away 
from the too-worn trail
for a moment and walk 
(don’t run) into 
the clearing where it
stands and say,
hello or namaste
or whatever moves you;
it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter

if it answers you
in your own language
or with words you’ve
never heard or even if
you do not understand
them as not much
about this
is about understanding.

Understanding is 
your boogeyman,
your feared beast,
your somehow
still-longed-for handcuff;
if you’d given that up
long ago
and relied on just 
standing there with
what you’re currently
facing, what’s always
been ahead of you,
you would have known
all along the truth 
of your presence and
how to hold it close,
what it would take.