Orgasms of Matter

Juncos hop in snow, inks on white,
atomic lights leap out of black seas,

fields both: snow that kills, oceans
that void -- nulls too tough to break.

Snow lights the night; light without moon
brings sight to my night room in ways
that summer's moonless midnight never can.
Atoms dance, birds panic when the cold
grows bitter -- birds wing up out of winter wind,
as light waves out of rich ocean seas.

If they are legion, complex, and dense,
(Juncos as neat as mice, even Sparrows,
flocking darkly, infinite inter-mixes
of light-complex, a lesser we), then We.

We are crests on waves at every spinning mixed;
We, the crown of light, the jeweled crown,
like laughing in the dark, joke up brightly
from the night-time sea. We are the rapture
of this wind-pushed ocean void, dancing
as novas storm, genius gleams, atoms spin;

lighting fires with dance, singing joy;
joy, wing-waving; beaming; beaming joy!

Steven Fortney

The Sporting Life, a Milkweed chronicle anthology on sport and games, Summer, 1987
Second Edition, October 1998
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