even if i could

a found a couple old books of poetry in a box that i haven’t seen since high school i’d forgotten how much they’d meant to me during that part of my life. here is one i read during “raw talent” at a little cafe in town many moons ago. you have no idea what a “hippie” i used to be. i’d like to think i still am a little. maybe one day i’ll show you my first car that my friend named “the grateful bean”… you have no idea. anyway, here is the poem that i loved enough to read in front of the world.

Even If I Could by C.K. Williams

Except for the little girl making faces behind me, and the rainbow behind her,
and the school and the truck, the only thing between you and infinity is me.
Which is why you cover your ears when I speak and why you’re always oozing around the edges,
clinging, trying to go by me. And except for my eyes and the back of my skull,
and then my hair, the wall, the concrete and the fire-cloud, except for them you would see God.
And that’s why rage howls in your arms like a baby and why I can’t move-
because of the thunder and the shadows merging like oil
and the smile gleaming through the petals.
Let me tell you how sick with loneliness I am. What can I do while the distance throbs
on my back like a hump, or say, with stars stinging me through the wheel?
You are before me, behind me things rattle their deaths out like paper.
The angels ride in their soft saddles:
except for them, I would come closer and go.


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