Vignettes of Infinity

Vignettes of Infinity

By Michael Turle

Can’t we just put on the clothes

we wore dark hours before

and pretend that life is one long day

that unfolds without creases—

never dies?

Can we pretend that love is meant

as anything other than art?

as some appeal to sacredness outside of

our vain devotions?

Maybe that dream is dangerous, 

you think—

maybe you have been betrayed.

The phantom miles we go between

to usher our images towards existence

seem to stretch out with each passing poem— 

stretch like the shadows of summer 

and smother

the landscape under their weight.

If we were falcons perning in a gyre

what poetry would be our prey?

and should the falconer call us to roost

would you heed

or abstain to hear?

Would you feign distance or deafness, pretend

to have found some frail freedom up there?

Or simply exalt in its illusion?

flying on fickle and mortal wings,

so soon to descend upon mortal ground,

but— !

for a single shining instant at the zenith of your arc,

when your wings can wrest the cloudy waves from under you no more,

and the sun is unambiguous in all its love and splendor—

you are weightless— 

a puppet hung from heaven, so immaculate

and immeasurable that the faults of mortal memory

may not mutilate its strings;


your weight shifts— 

the light breaks—

your ceremony of innocence is drowned

on errant dreams and dying sunlight

as Earth recalls your ponderous form beneath her unyielding embrace;


if we were falcons falling to the earth

would you ever forgive the gravity?