Sometimes a poem grasp you from the first line… you read on and sometimes you are disappointed, but sometimes, you are not. How could anyone be disappointed with what follows Joseph Fasano’s first line?
At last the wrens have nestedIn the hollowsOf his arches, in a houseThat will not last. What’s wildHas come to find him, and our sad,Unhouseled father, whose handsCan’t hold their labor, has hobbled to his windowsTo lift his fadingLanguage, like siltFrom out his rivers, like those fistsOf empty bridles, in a prayerThat he has practiced—for order,For dominion, as he once kept stallionsStill. All fall I’ve cursed the hoursOf carrying his bodyThrough these roomsWhere illness thins him, in the placesHe has knelt in, where I sworeI never would. But today, in bareExhaustion, I bowed downBy his waters, and felt a body driftingThrough the shadowsOf my body, through cairnsOf ancient pyres, through the burdock’sTwisted folds. Like the silenceAfter family, like the rustAcross its voices, it stooped to kiss the winterWork had writtenIn my shoulders, it sniffedMy salted hair. O I knewIt hadn’t come. But tell me,Now, I whispered, between this waterAnd this fire, this restAnd worldly labor, in which wayAm I wanted, will you tell meWhere to go? And with love, and suddenWonder, as though it had beenWaiting, the silent thing behind me whisperedNo and no and no.by Joseph Fasano