24 Frames ★★★★

"Half a Second," by Robert Siegel*

A movement like a shutter’s
and I am outside the dark box—
the ship suddenly outside the bottle.

Instead of empty, everything is full.
There is no absence:
every sail luffs out, every rope sings.

There is no more to be said.
There never was,
but one goes on saying. It is

the hopeless addiction of the tongue
to an ecstasy of particulars:
the snap of young peas, the onion’s bite,

the tomato’s pulsing alarm
the lupine’s lavender finial,
the white cat by the feeder

in a raptus of hummingbirds.
Not only this place, this time,
but all places, all time:

It is freedom, it is laughter.
Closing the eyelids and raising them.
That white cloud hanging there forever.

(published in this Church of England Newspaper interview; included in the collection A Pentecost of Finches)

Artistry: 4.2
My enthusiasm: 4.3

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