These Are the Things by Which I See Your Face
Of knowing and the world, II
by Lynn Michael Martin, Mar 15, 2018
These are the things by which I see your face—
they are my lonely nights through half-drawn blinds,
the starlight on the clouds which drapely winds
around this light-snarled earth, the fitful pace
of feet on floors, on grass, on every place
in which your form hides coy, and yet reminds
my restless steps with winds of various kinds
that you remain still in some breath or trace—
these are alone the holy things I know.
I’ve struggled forth my bravely guttered light,
entombed beneath the heaven’s grey its glow
like sounds of breath lost in a dun-draped night,
yet I’ve not tried so hard, nor striven quite
so that I’d not betimes glimpse light: soft, low.
This sonnet is the second of a cycle titled “Knowing and the World:
Three Sonnets in Ascent.” All three center around an image of a face, its
relationship with the world, and my relationship to both of them. Who are we,
and who shall we become?