Saturday Poem

Heaven: A Definition

Heaven cannot be wrung easily into words.
It is like air, open your palm. See? Empty.
Heaven is like this, you can put something in it,
but since heaven itself is weightless,
the thing will fall. Nonetheless . . .

A long green couch n front of a large window. Night.
Lights in the house out, no one but the two of them.
Take two pillows off the back of the couch and have
them lie down. Have him love her in a blind and
elemental way sewn a thousand times together by
need and sex. Have them both confuse these.

Have them love this confusion. Have her love him equally.
Have them both remember “unto death.” Have them
both believe this. Have the stars brilliant, like ice
in a blue/black sky. Have their bodies jigged, beside
and around, into perfect and mutual solipsism.

Have her forehead beside his high Periclean forehead.
Have him stroking gently, gently the hair from
the side of her forehead so that skin absolutely
touches skin. Have their favorite suite playing.
Bach. Perfect volume. Have her feel the stars
can now enter her body because they are him, have her
feel entirely at home on earth because of heaven.

Have him be the shape of the beech tree outside
the window barely visible in the dark. Have her
transmuted into the music entering his ears, able
to move him past his own muscle, tissue, organs
upward without disturbing a thing. Have this evening
framed, let the frame be gold and round, not thick,
not thin. Entitle the evening, “Brave in the Face
of Death Wearing a Grecian Mask.”

by Gene Zeiger
Leaving Egypt
White Pine Press, 1995