BY KATIE PETERSON
In different cities, on different
forms of transportation, a woman read Daniel Deronda
until the year became the arbitrary pink
the calendar chose for the middle of winter.
And finally she sat in the reference section
of the public library finishing Daniel Deronda
for days at a slowing pace between pieces
of newspapers and foreign language newspapers
whose syntax she enjoyed, not understanding.
And when she didn’t anymore she wrote in the margins
of Daniel Deronda for someone
who might never see. Thought of that person
who might never see, staring equally at the rain, equally
thinking of her and of nothing in particular.
Outside the news fell apart. If one chooses
to be shallow or noble, or one
is born so, and if it matters. Translations
are appropriate when Nature is dormant, or when one
has nothing to say, or does not know
what to say. These are three different things
but sometimes they are the same.
It is not wrong to want nice things, neither
is it wrong to want to be good, or to feel that
as a physical force of pleasure: Daniel Deronda,
who does not know who he is,
who thinks he does, and goes away on a boat.
But the cover is a picture of a woman gambling.
The air warms outside the reference
section, and also the rain. Incomprehensible news.
Whenever a book ends, silence, as if a stewardship had ceased.
A person can feel the bones of one’s hands by stretching them.
If love comes again, know better than to speak.
Katie Peterson, “The News” from Permission. Copyright © 2013 by Katie Peterson. Reprinted by permission of New Issues Press.
Source: Permission (New Issues Press, 2013)