(Bruce Warrington/Unsplash)


It’s true:          Pilgrim, for you it may be that nothing happens
                       anymore. That life is this going on all around

                       you all the time and nothing else. That this land
                       is blank land. This land is blank land, from California

                       to the unnamed island. That from an Apollo stair-
                       case you may leap each morning a moonwalker

                       to discover the plains of Kansas at last devoid
                       of evil men. That hallelujah now the cavalry

                       will ride at your command, crusading backward
                       through memory, their sword blades trued with

                       all we know now but couldn’t know then. That
                       your warhorse’s hammering head hits the source.

                       That who, you rightly ask, who are the savages now.
                       And true it may be that the whole of your light

                       shines forth in this darkening sky, the heaven
                       between the dot that ends this sentence and

                       the great cross heralding the next. That the in-
                       finitesimal is your new glory—and that indeed

                       there is glory in a certain kind of small. That in
                       the long night within your bones there hangs

                       the shard of a crescent moon. That we awaken—
                       who?—every morning in a tome of tomes of tomes.

                       That the great star’s immense burning, so faintly
                       printed on a noontime flag, reminds us all that

                       it is so. That grace awaits you nonetheless,
                       Pilgrim. That in this in-between breath, you may

                       find your rightful home, in these stories that no one
                       remembers that—without you—no one knows.

Anthony Carelli hails from Poynette, Wisconsin, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, his second collection of poems, The New World: Infinitesimal Epics, has just been published by Princeton University Press.

Also by this author

Please email comments to [email protected] and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Published in the October 2021 issue: View Contents
© 2024 Commonweal Magazine. All rights reserved. Design by Point Five. Site by Deck Fifty.