The Authentic I

the authentic asks me
who I am — this inquiring
ballerina of words
to whose offering of dance no words
could be handed

given, I go
to where no money hides me,
the sun digging its claws
between stones and leafy litter

I go, unabashed,
to where no noise floods this opening,
the breeze unblemished with thoughts
that would rake my ears

whenever do I find my
self,
going where I go as slippage
horizons the trees
beyond all such bright bringings
and takings, weighing the question
like soot against my far-fetched cheeks?

I am uncertain of all things
known, my self a silence
on matters told, where only snow
throughs its way by, humming
as if from mystery’s wholesome mouth,
a jealous fragrance
lofted toward blankness

I go
to where every sensation
is silk in celebration,
or matches igniting, struck
by the nearing gods’ songs

I am what I find
when wonder floats, the brilliant
boat of stunned nothing
with its stupefied sails coiled lucent
in fierce liaison
with snow below a sea

the Authentic asks me
what only becoming
can know

 

(c) J. Celan Smith