Dobby Gibson

No Surrender

Now that my poetry is finished
and I’m once again grateful
for what passes as real
in this version of my life, my favorite one,
the one in which, in late evening,
the lake appears
to hold another, more beautiful sky,
never again will any time
so quietly pass.
These perceptions soon lost,
if only because everyone’s first wish
has always been to see
himself through another’s eyes.
By merely looking we make casts
of these shadows, the ones that forever
point back to ourselves
by mimicking the very holes
we punch in the moonlight,
mugging for the camera,
chatting about this and that
even as the bird flies
into the glass door and dies.
There is a precision to absurdity
that illuminates the immeasurability of the truth,
and we’ll never know one another
more intimately than when we share
precisely these kinds of misunderstandings.
Place your hand on my shoulder.
Empty your pockets into mine.
Now you’ve caught your thief.

Dobby Gibson
No Surrender was published in Polar, (Alice James Books, 2005).
Poem, copyright © 2004 by Dobby Gibson
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2006, From the Fishouse