An Explanation of America
Robert Pinsky

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From An Explanation of America:
LAIR

Robert Pinsky ?

Inexhaustible, delicate, as if
Without source or medium, daylight
Undoes the mind; the infinite,

Empty actual is too bright,
Scattering to where the road
Whispers, through a mile of woods …

Later, how quiet the house is:
Dusk-like and refined,
The sweet Phoebe-note

Piercing from the trees;
The calm globe of the morning,
Things to read or to write

Ranged on a table; the brain
A dark, stubborn current that breathes
Blood, a deaf wadding,

The hands feeding it paper
And sensations of wood or metal
On its own terms. Trying to read

I persist a while, finish the recognition
By my breath of a dead giant's breath--
Stayed by the space of a rhythm,

Witnessing the blue gulf of the air.

First published in 1979.