Turning Toward the Sun


Have we not been turning towards it at
daybreak as if we depend on it
too, the way the sunflowers lift and tilt

their heads, slumped and closed down overnight,
to face it eyeball to eyeball, then
without flinching to track the noon's white

blaze, the afternoon's blanket upon
blanket of heat, and the swelling fanfare
of purples, the deafening orange din?

We are still elemental in our
hungers. We sit at desks. Pastel walls
close in like envelopes, seal and for-

ward us. While coffee stands glazed with small
prisms of oiled colors, incessant
phones wail down the measureless hall.

We are supervised every moment
and the day is clocked into slices
that fit the office log, tagged and ent-

ered. Later driving home through meshes
of traffic, sun glares us in the eyes.
The pavement swims on glassy washes

of heat. The windshield throbs. We accuse
the sun of headache, thirst, the piled-up
accident alongside the road, whose

sirens follow and scream. As we slip
down the home stretch, the street lined with oaks
and apartment parking lots, and stop,

in the rear-view mirror, the sun like
a jovial wink looms at us yet:
reminder of tennis and picnic

and beach, and the hand pushed mower that
the twelve year-old blistered his palms on.
His shirtless back in its pride of sweat,

hungry to drink deep to the bleached bone,
bent to the sun, glad in its touch. But
its eye in the dark mirror's tilt burns

still, while earth in the tug of its orbit
yearns to spin towards it and be swallowed,
at the same time massively it
is hurtled away. We are specks.


The sun rides along winter cloudbanks,
white like a soccer ball in shallow
still water, floating. Straight on, I track

it, it does not hurt my eyes. My slow
route meanders towards it while it floats
over hills whose stripped oaks reach like claws.

I am running inside tireless sweat
turning towards it. December mist sets
onto my glasses. Every few streets

I wipe them on the fleece of my shirt.
Air too is fleecy and cool. My face
drinks. An entire hour bends me towards it,

towards where it rides, while, like a virus
that comes first with a flaring fever
then disappears for a sudden space,

birds have sunk ino remission. Here
in their silence my running awaits
their re-eruption: sparrow chatter,

doves. The white solar disc now pulsates
so hard that my eyes no longer bear
to look. Veering off, I separate,

and through prisms of droplets, I stare
forward. Each of us goes our own way.
Birds break into a squalling choir
like claws across my ears and it's day.


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