Perception, Or Nothing

by Zachary Caballero

I close my eyes, done with dreaming
The whole scattered sky steps out
Mouth azul and ancient, accustomed
to this speech.
I listen, and shine accordingly.
Swiftly the songs stack.
Quick as quiet comes
It runs
I consent to its speed,
eyes slow dancing, what do I make
of the tremble?
All its oscillation
but a pattern I must protect.
I am not afraid of what I see
Feel free, I will
myself to follow the trees
that breathe like me. Surrounded
By a beauty incapable of deceit,
I recreate the tenderness just
by telling myself

I have watched the wind burn its bitter in the glory of gold fields
Seen wheat split itself into a single grain and still stay gold just by
the way the stalk holds it.
Passing by, I feel my throat widen harvestready.
I gulp a voice bright as morning
and black as coffee
A bushel of both gentle and intense
The voice brings me water without asking, fills my musicbox with her own song:
Perception or nothing!
Now move along.
The last thing I have to say before she is gone is
the promise of returning.
The only wrong left to be done
is running too soon from
what you know most to be true.

I open my eyes now,
unterrified by the vastness
and more certain because of it.
the absence of an ego is easy
when the earth does the forgetting
for you.
Goodbye stupid analyst.
Stud of stuck.
Honorable holder of hurt.
It takes so much work to waste.

I touch none of what surrounds me but my skin shudders senseless nonetheless, claps wild at the cusp
of creation
Silent, I leave the craving to speak shut, the mighty bodies around me
collapse at my infatuation, forget their own forever and feed me
I give the stones a story just by listening.
Them to me, an ovation
What do words do but make room
For the surrender?
But the breath of birds, clouds speaking in gentle grey tones, towns tucked into the shadow of a memory…

Just ahead—
Bales of hay needleless and therefore
nothing to covet.
An eagle claws the glass teeth of a street side beer bottle—this is not the river he dove for, unclean and no amen to keep.
Grace is a billboard but nobody
is built to look up, closed hearts, even the sky skips a beat, the reality of being eaten by down below,
What can salvage a spirit if not a quest to hear its sounds?
Driving through a town that is not home, merely here for now, I see
A woman bag deep in her own belongings
Who does not feel as if anything has her name on it.
so she sits at a bus stop, still waiting
to excavate the rest of her light
still waiting to see the sun, should
I tell her it’s coming?

The grass, its green prayer, answerable just because it left the mouth, as all prayers pretend
to mean something but holy is held after it is spelled between the teeth
Only no one knows
So I say it so
You are god