Gentle Obsessions

After Joseph Cornell

I desire for desire’s sake:
Collections of miscellany. No

Apologies for these things
(Preoccupations they may seem):

Stories of stars gone lost
From their book’s loose spine. Imaginations

Inside matchboxes, their propensity to hold
A small shrine: hummingbird feather,

Daily news letter A from headline
AT&T Stockholders Soar to One Million,

Redheads made of sticks that strike.
When I folded the memory of your death

Into an according shape and tossed it to sea,
I was certain it would play a hymn

Like the ones you loved. And you were right:
The soul knows how to sustain itself despite

Submersion, to give up the land’s edge
Lost to the flood until everything is a horizon’s

Line. When you said spring leaves only water
Whole, did you mean the sky and ocean are

Windows? When nothing can be tethered
To shore by phone line or otherwise,

Which practices survive?