It is not always joy
that is announced to you
in the mundane light.
Not always a wing
or a flood of new knowledge
delivering its atoms of change
to your body.
Sometimes it is
a wound delivered,
just as plainly as in those
paintings, her head tilted
up or down, in some angle
of understood responsibility.
No fanfare in the room
other than some structure inside
made flat
by what you have received,
the heart a putty-colored
folding chair knocked
to the ground.
And the room itself emptied,
this is part of the recognition.
The room a wound,
the light a wing on the floor,
the atoms of dust
in the shaft. And the quiet,
that is grief’s appetite.

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