By Peter Cole
Either the world is coming together,
or else the world is falling apart —
here — now — along these letters,
against the walls of every heart.
Today, tomorrow, within its weather,
the end or beginning’s about to start —
the world impossibly coming together
or very possibly falling apart.
Now the lovers’ mouths are open —
maybe the miracle’s about to start:
the world within us coming together,
because all around us it’s falling apart.
Even as they speak, he wonders,
even as the fear departs:
Is that the world coming together?
Can they keep it from falling apart?
The image, gradually, is growing sharper;
now the sound is like a dart:
It seemed their world was coming together,
but in fact it was falling apart.
That’s the nightmare, that’s the terror,
that’s the Isaac of this art —
which sees that the world might come together
if only we’re willing to take it apart.
The dream, the lure, is the prayer’s answer,
which can’t be plotted on any chart —
as we know the world that’s coming together
without our knowing is falling apart.
Source: Poetry (May 2013)
More Poems about Arts & Sciences
The Racist Bone
I know this is a real thing, because
When I was a kid, my big sister took me
To the Capitol Theater, in my hometown
Of Rochester, NY,
And there was a movie that afternoon,
The Tingler, which starred Vincent Price,
And what I remember best...
The Last Word
I am a door of metaphor
waiting to be opened.
You’ll find no lock, no key.
All are free to enter, at will.
Simply step over the threshold.
Remember to dress for travel, though.
Visitors have been known
to get carried away.Illustration by Shadra Strickland