1.
                    I could use Rilke’s angels now as a metaphor
                    for how there are moments when all the beauty 
                    and terror of what is comes together, a sudden 
                    intake of breath, but I don’t believe in angels, 
                    unless crows are messengers of some god, but I
                    suspect they are their own agents both somewhat amused 
                    and disappointed in 
                    those they share some space with, 
                    glad that we leave them scraps of  litter,
                    but more concerned overall with their own feathered stories,
                    with the lift that they ride into gray skies.
                    Everything that is, is a spark against endless night.
                    I cannot kill even a small spider without regret.
                    We spend our lives learning to shut them out
                    all those sparks on the wind. The child delights
                    in a brief light, disappointed when it snuffs out without 
                    a trace. We become obsessed with the disappearances. Where
                    do they go? 
                    Is that a smear of smoke? 
                    Is that a scent of ozone? What of us 
                    will linger in cold night air when our spark 
                    goes out? Fear and grief. It’s fear causes us 
                    to turn away. Grief forms cataracts over our eyes.
                    In Rilke’s elegies it’s lover’s passion, their transcendent lust,
                    that invites the angels, that breaks through the barrier
                    into other realms,
                    but always,  the crows are there
                    to mock us. What other realms? Earth and sky.
                    Passion burns out. Desire remains, but is a small
                    breeze stirring ashes. There are moments, or half moments 
                    that are not visions but the edges of vision,
                    that admit the possibility of vision—sometimes in dreams,
                    sometimes in quick glimpses of something in a crowd,
                    or sometimes the sudden silence spreading like a bubble
                    in the middle of the din and casual chaos,
                    when all voices stop and traffic’s paused at lights,
                    and the clouds are frozen above the glass towers
                    edged with light,
                    and gulls rise spiraling between windows.
                    It’s not an angel, but it is an intrusion
                    from some other sphere, an impossible moment in which
                    to take in the absolute impossibility of every moment—
                    but the lights change and the traffic lurches forward,
                    and shouts, conversations, screech of bus brakes, gull’s cries
                    drive the moment from mind and memory. The vision
                    is never realized. Fear is a part of it.
                    I am afraid that if I were to open
                    to it, it would wash through me, wash away
                    all that I am and leave nothing but tears,
                    a Niobe, turned to stone, a rock weeping forever
                    for her children who are lost. 
                    Time’s an issue,
                    both what it is and whether there is enough,
                    or if it exists at all. Angels, I suppose,
                    are free of time or else imprisoned in timelessness.
                    The vision they would sell us is static, still.
                    It is a dim image of a place beyond
                    turmoil, a strangely vacant place without content or emotion.
                    It is outside of all that is. Not even
                    the dead go there. It is the void which
                    erases and surrounds all things. The void which Parmenides
                    denies as even a possibility. Can not being be?
                    Crows are wiser than angels. Gathering by the hundreds
                    to their twilight roost, their feathers borrowing the darkness
                    of the coming night. The vision does not come
                    from beyond life, but from the dark feathery mass
                    of the roost and the daily departure, wings spread
                    into the dawn.
                    So many live or have lived
                    More alive now than the sum of all pasts
                    and not only people but animals, plants, stones, rivers
                    the mountains etched against the sky. Everything that is
                    has a presence—the sea that beats against shore
                    and all the creatures within—they add their weight
                    to the burden of time. All that ever was.
                    And, of course, there is the possibility of futures,
                    of all things that exist now only as potential,  
                    what might be, might have been, what will be,
                    but all that was and all that might be
                    are contained in the eternal presence of this moment
                    sparks from a campfire sputtering out into the night.
                    
                    
                
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